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What You Need To Know About Gingivoplasty

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A high gingival display, also known as a “gummy smile” may be an insecurity to most. Because of the high gingival display, the teeth could look a quite a bit shorter than normal, which may result in an unappealing and unaesthetic smile. Gingivoplasty is one of the many procedures done to treat or improve a gummy smile. Some dentists also call this procedure “gum recontouring.”

Gingivoplasty reshapes or recontours the gums to increase the length of the teeth, achieving a more aesthetic looking smile. You will also commonly hear the term “gingivectomy”. The two procedures often confused for one another. Both procedures involve removal of gum tissue. The only difference between the two is gingivectomy removes deceased tissue, while gingivoplasty reshapes healthy gums for cosmetic reasons. Gingivoplasty is also usually done after gingivectomy.

Procedure:

  1. Your teeth will be cleaned to remove any plaque and bacteria that can cause infection.
  2. Local anesthetic will be used to numb the gum tissue.
  3. Dentist will remove gum tissue to reshape it using different instruments such as scalpel, laser, and electrocautery. One advantage of using a laser is that it is able to kill bacteria present on the teeth.
  4. Dressing will be placed over affected gum tissue.

Risks and side effects:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Bleeding
  • Infection

What to expect after the procedure:

  • Bleeding is expected for up to 48hrs. The dressing will help control the bleeding.
  • Pain and discomfort may be felt when the effect of the anesthesia subsides. Over the counter pain relievers may be taken.
  • There is always a risk of infection after any surgical procedure. Tobacco use should be avoided to avoid infection and to avoid impeding the healing process.
  • A soft diet should be followed as hard and crunchy foods may damage the healing gums.
  • It may take several weeks for the gums to completely heal. Your dentist will most likely schedule a follow up appointment to ensure your gums are healing well. 

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