Gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure which alters the appearance of the smile by reducing the amount of gum visible when a person smiles. This treatment is usually considered a solution for people with a gummy smile; this means that a larger amount of gum is visible when the person smiles than normal.
What does the procedure involve?
Gum contouring is used to shape the gums so that more of the tooth is visible when the person smiles; this is achieved by removing tiny pieces of the gum tissue using either a scalpel or a laser beam. Trimming the gum increases the amount of tooth on show, which will make the persons smile more attractive.
Is gum contouring necessary?
Having a gummy smile does affect a persons dental or general health in any way; however, it can affect the way people feel about their appearance and can lead them to have low self-esteem. Gum contouring is a quick and relatively painless procedure, which produces great results; so, although its not essential it can be hugely beneficial.
What actually happens during the procedure?
During the procedure, tiny portions of the tissue will be removed in areas where a large proportion of the tooth is covered by gum; this process is also known as gum reshaping. The gum will be very gradually trimmed back to uncover more of the tooth.
Is it as painful as it sounds?
Gum contouring is actually a relatively painless treatment and is much less daunting than it sounds. Before the procedure starts, local anaesthetic will be used to numb the gum tissue so that the patient does not feel any pain. The treatment is over quickly and the gums should heal fairly rapidly (gums that have been treated with laser technology will heal faster than scalpel treatments as lasers help to reduce the bleeding in the gums).
Are there any risks?
Gum contouring is considered as a very safe treatment. However, every procedure that involves making incisions into bodily tissue carries risks of infection; these should be kept to a minimum by your dentist, who will take care to keep the wound as sterile as possible. In some cases, where too much of the gum tissue is removed there may be complications; taking away too much of the gum slows healing considerably and may cause the gum to become swollen; however, this is very rare.
Is the treatment expensive?
Gum contouring is one of the cheaper cosmetic dental treatments and usually costs around £120 for laser treatment; treatments using a scalpel are usually cheaper. It is best to discuss the cost of treatment with your dentist before the procedure as different dentists charge different amounts.