Everyone’s gumlines are different. Some are high, some are low, and some are in between. Some may even be uneven. At Holland Park Dental, our team of periodontal specialists are dedicated to helping patients achieve healthy, beautiful-looking gums.
Gum contouring, also known as reshaping, is a procedure that involves cutting away or removing excess gum tissue around your teeth to ultimately resculpt your gumline. If you have gum recession, this procedure can also involve restoring gum tissue.
If you feel self-conscious about your gumline, there are ways to change it. Gum contouring, also known as gingival sculpting or gingivoplasty, is one of the options that can help reshape your gumline and is performed by our Periodontal Specialist – Dr Ruben Garcia.
In many cases, gum contouring is an elective procedure. This means that it isn’t medically necessary. Instead, it’s done to improve the look of the gums, teeth, or smile.
But there may be times when the dentist recommends gum contouring for oral health reasons especially if you have periodontal disease.
What Does Gum Contouring Treatment Involve?
Gum contouring is usually done by a periodontist (Dr Garcia). It’s an in-office procedure that’s typically done in one visit.
In most cases, you’ll remain awake during the procedure. Before the doctor starts, you’ll receive local anaesthesia to numb the gum area.
During the procedure, the doctor will use a soft tissue laser or scalpel to remove excess gum tissue and resculpt the gumline to expose more of the tooth. Sutures may be used to hold the gum tissue in place.
If your gums recede and the procedure involves adding gum tissue, your doctor will remove tissue from another part of your mouth, maybe your palate. Surgery secures this tissue around your teeth to lengthen and restructure your gumline.
The length of the procedure will vary depending on the extent of the contouring and the amount of resculpting that’s needed. Generally, gum contouring takes about 1 to 2 hours.
How Much Does Gum Contouring Cost?
Gum contouring is often done for cosmetic reasons, which makes it an elective procedure — meaning it isn’t medically necessary. For this reason, dental insurance typically doesn’t cover the cost.
If not medically necessary, you’ll pay for the procedure out of pocket. The cost will vary depending on the amount of gum tissue removed or restored.
Costs for gum contouring procedures, with our Periodontal Specialist – Dr Garcia, can range from £960.
When Is Gum Contouring Medically Necessary?
If you have periodontal disease, gum contouring may be a treatment option.
The dentist will first try to treat gum disease with antibiotics to kill the bacteria and infection, or dental cleanings to restore gum health.
But if these efforts don’t work, your dentist may recommend your further to a gum specialist (Periodontist) for treatments such as pocket reduction surgery on the gums and surrounding bone to save a tooth. Or you may need a regeneration procedure to regrow damaged bone and gum tissue.
Gum contouring might be part of these procedures.
Does Gum Contouring Hurt?
You’ll be given local anaesthesia before the procedure starts. This will numb your gums, so you won’t feel pain while the doctor is working on your mouth. But you can expect some tenderness and numbness afterwards.
The amount of discomfort depends on how much of your gums had to be reshaped or removed.
After the surgery, the dentist may prescribe a pain reliever, or you can take over-the-counter pain medication like paracetamol or ibuprofen. Since aspirin can cause bleeding, your doctor might discourage this medication.
You can also reduce pain and swelling by applying an ice pack to your mouth for a couple of days after the procedure. It’s best to apply the compress for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
Gum contouring involves little downtime, but complete healing might take days or weeks, depending on the extent of the surgery. You may have to limit some activities for a day or two based on how you feel and any tenderness you may have.
Since your gums and mouth will likely feel sensitive or tender at first, you’ll want to eat soft foods for about 2 to 3 days after the procedure.
You’ll typically have a follow-up appointment a few days or a week after the procedure. Dr Garcia will check your gums to monitor how you’re healing and look for signs of an infection. He may prescribe an antibiotic mouth rinse to reduce the risk of infection. Signs of infection include increased pain and swelling and discharge from the gums.
If you are curious about reshaping your gums, get in touch with us today so we can arrange a consultation with our resident gum contouring specialist – Dr Garcia.
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