Is gum contouring right for you?
Gum contouring is a simple outpatient procedure that can greatly improve your smile! Your dentist may be able to perform gum contouring in their office but if they do not, they will refer you to a Periodontist who specializes in the treatment and care of gums. Gum contouring can be used to correct a gummy smile, gum recession, or an uneven gum line.
Do I need gum contouring?
If your gum line is uneven, gum contouring is a quick and easy way to even it up. A gummy smile is corrected just as easily. A gummy smile is when the gum tissue covers too much tooth structure giving the appearance of small teeth and can be a result of genetics or a side effect of certain medications.
Gum recession is when the pockets between the tooth and the gum tissue are infected with a buildup of plaque and bacteria. When this happens, the gum tissue begins to pull away from the tooth surface and can quickly lead to tooth sensitivity, loss of jaw bone structure and tooth loss. Fortunately, gum contouring can also be used to treat gum recession. When the doctor reshapes the receding gum tissue, they clean out the gum pockets of any build-up and infection thereby allowing the gum tissue to heal closer to the tooth surface. When the gum tissue heals, the tooth root is again covered and the jaw bone is protected.
How is gum contouring performed?
Your doctor will numb the area with a topical numbing agent before administering a local anesthetic. Whether your doctor is using a soft tissue laser or a scalpel, they will gently cut away the excess gum tissue and make sure that your gum line is even. This treatment does not require any sutures and is an outpatient procedure.
Your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic medication that should be taken as directed and in full to prevent infection.
Oral Hygiene After Gum Contouring Surgery
You will be given detailed instructions for your home care after gum contouring. You will need to be very gentle during brushing and flossing so as not to irritate the treated area and avoid using any mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
To keep your mouth as clean as possible and prevent infection, it can be beneficial to rinse your mouth out with a warm saltwater solution as often as you like though especially after eating to help remove any food particles and reduce inflammation.
How much does gum contouring surgery cost?
Depending on what dental professional performs your gum contouring, you can expect to pay between $50 and $350 per tooth. A Periodontist is considered a specialist and will likely have a higher fee schedule than a dentist. Every case is different and the severity of your individual case will play a major role in your overall cost.
Insurance may cover some of the cost of treatment, especially if it is deemed medically necessary as with periodontal disease.
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