Gum contouring is a dental procedure, which is commonly used to treat a gummy smile; a gummy smile is not a dental health issue, but it does affect the look of the smile.
What is a gummy smile?
A gummy smile is a term used to describe the look of the smile when the gum covers a large portion of the teeth; this makes the teeth look smaller and shorter and it affects the overall aesthetic of the smile. A gummy smile is not painful and it does not affect your oral health in any way, but it can affect your confidence and how you feel about your appearance. Many people who have a gummy smile may not feel comfortable smiling in public or posing for photographs, for example.
What is gum contouring?
Gum contouring, also known as gum re-shaping, is a procedure, which is carried out to improve the look of the smile. The aim of the procedure is to re-shape the gums so that more of the crown section of the tooth is visible and the smile looks more attractive and balanced.
During the gum contouring procedure, the dentist uses their skill and experience to trim away very tiny pieces of gum tissue to unveil the teeth. After gum contouring the teeth look bigger and longer and the smile looks more aesthetically pleasing.
Gum contouring can be done using a scalpel or laser technology; if a scalpel is used, anaesthetic will be provided before the procedure to numb the gums and prevent any pain. With laser treatment, there is usually no need for anaesthetic, as the treatment is painless. Laser treatment is becoming increasingly common because it is quicker, more accurate and less painful than traditional gum contouring treatment.
Before the procedure, your dentist will examine your gums very carefully and plan how much gum tissue needs to be removed from where; they will then use their expertise to gently remove the gum tissue to ensure that more of the tooth crown is visible when you smile. The procedure typically takes around 45-60 minutes. You can have it done at many cosmetic dental practices.
Is gum contouring painful?
The concept of gum contouring sounds very painful, but this is actually a relatively straightforward treatment, which should be painless. Anaesthetic is used to numb the gums before treatment and recovery should be quick, especially if you have had laser treatment. Many dentists prefer to use laser treatment because it is more accurate and there is no need to make incisions in the gums, which reduces bleeding and healing time and decrease the risk of infection. Many patients, especially those who suffer from dental anxiety, also prefer laser treatment.
Who can benefit from gum contouring?
If you feel that you have a gummy smile and your teeth look small and short, you may benefit from gum contouring. There are no health implications of a gummy smile, but if you are worried or conscious about the look of your smile, this simple procedure could make a massive difference to the look of your smile and your confidence and self-esteem.