Crown Lengthening/Gum Contouring

A lot of people with “gummy” smiles assume their unbalanced smile is permanent. Dentists can whiten, cover up, or replace teeth but the shape of one’s gums seems a little more immutable. Fortunately, here at Dental Hub, our dentist, Dr. Juveria is always eager to master the techniques that her patients require. This is why we offer both crown lengthening and gum contouring. These two procedures can quickly and easily give patients with “gummy” smiles the beautiful, full smiles they’ve always dreamed of. There are other reasons crown lengthening/gum contouring is necessary as detailed further below.

Millions of people have uneven gums. Some people have gums that are too low, thus concealing part of their teeth, and some people have gums that are too high. High gums can be a sign of gum recession, which is where the gums begin to pull away from the tooth. Gum recession is frequently tied to periodontal disease which can lead to serious problems like tooth loss. If your teeth look “long,” (and they weren’t always like this) you might be suffering from periodontal disease. Make an appointment at Dental Hub to up a free consultation.

To book a consultation fill out form or call (972) 371-0441

In contrast, low gums can make your teeth appear much smaller than they actually are. However, people with “gummy smiles” don’t actually have small teeth — their gums are just extending down too far. Low gums typically stem from genetics though certain drugs and health disorders can also cause a gummy smile.

For those with low gums, crown lengthening is the preferred method of treatment. During the procedure, Dr. Juveria doesn’t just cut away gum tissue, as many patients assume. In time, gum tissue grows back, making the procedure’s results temporary.
Instead, Dr. Juveria takes the extra step and reshapes the bone. It’s important to remember that in a “gummy smile”, it’s not necessarily the gums that are always at fault. It’s really the shape of the bone underneath that ultimately affects how the gums lie.
Gum contouring is a little more ambiguous. It can either refer to removing some of the gum tissue (which has varying levels of success) or adding needed gum tissue. For patients with “high” gums from gum recession, this procedure can make a big change.

How long will it take?

Crown lengthening and gum contouring are quick, comfortable procedures that take minutes. Our dentist use a local anesthetic to numb the area but other sedation options may be available. Using painless techniques designed to enhance your smile immediately or take care of any restoration procedure needed, your surgery will be as quick and comfortable as possible. Recovery is fast and typically involves very little post-operative pain or bleeding.

Crown lengthening is a versatile and common procedure that has many effective uses and benefits. The vast majority of patients who have undergone this type of surgery are highly delighted with the results.

Here are some of the most common reasons for crown lengthening:

• Restoration of damaged teeth – Periodontal disease can cause severe damage to the teeth, as can trauma and decay. Where teeth have been broken beneath the gum line, crown lengthening can be used to prepare the area for a new restoration to correct the damaged teeth.
• Cosmetic uses – Extra gum tissue can make teeth look unnaturally short, and also increase susceptibility to periodontal infections. Removing excess gum tissue can restore a balanced, healthy look and thus improve the aesthetic appearance of the smile.
• Dental crowns – Crown lengthening serves to provide more space between the supporting jawbone and dental crown. This prevents the new crown from damaging gum tissues and bone once it is in place.

Your teeth will typically be sore for a few days after the preparation phase and after placing the permanent veneers. During this time, you can take pain medication to help you stay comfortable. Patients can also benefit from getting rest and using a cold compress to reduce any swelling. We recommend that patients watch what they eat for a few days and stick with foods that are soft. While there is a short recovery time when getting veneers, the procedure is entirely worth it because in the end, you will have a beautiful smile.

One main benefit of veneers that patients enjoy is how the veneers make their teeth look. This procedure is an excellent solution, since the veneers can transform your smile into one that looks perfect and beautiful. The veneer uses your natural teeth, so there is no need for surgery, and the recovery time is reduced. Since the veneers are made to match your other teeth, they will look natural, and no one will be able to tell that you had any cosmetic dentistry work completed. Another benefit is that they are made out of a stain resistant material. This means that your teeth will stay whiter and brighter, even if your favorite beverage is a hot cup of coffee. We can use dental veneers to transform your smile.

As with most cosmetic procedures, there can be some discomfort associated with getting dental veneers installed. This is to be expected, however, we do our best to keep patients comfortable during the procedure so that you will not experience any pain while the veneers are being placed or your teeth are being prepared. The process can take several weeks so there will be a period where you need to be careful about what you eat and what activities you engage in. In other words, do not play football after getting temporary veneers placed onto your teeth. You should schedule the procedure for a time where you will be close to home and able to take easy.

At Dental Hub we understand that your insurance company may or may not pay for veneers. We will work with you and your insurance company to ensure that you receive the dental care that you need, regardless of how much they are willing to pay. We offer a variety of financing solutions for those that are uninsured, as well. By creating a payment plan, we make getting veneers affordable.

The good news about veneers is that they are so low-maintenance, you don’t even have to worry about them. Our veneers last anywhere from five to ten years based on their treatment, your care of them and a number of other factors. However, they need not be replaced on a regular basis as they do last a long time and provide you with the beautiful smile you love for just as long.

There are a number of things that you can expect as a result of dental implants. First, your broken teeth will be eliminated, and you’ll have natural-looking teeth. Many patients report a boost in confidence. Patients feel more comfortable with their smile, and as a result they will smile more.

Patients have also reported that it is easier to eat and chew their favorite foods. Removing broken teeth and replacing missing teeth makes it easier to maintain oral health as well. Consequently, some patients report better breath and whiter teeth.

Another benefit that patients experience is an easier time talking and communicating. This isn’t only because they are more comfortable with the appearance of their teeth, but also because teeth are important to forming certain words and sounds.

Those who transition to dental implants from dentures have reported that they are more comfortable and convenient because they can’t slip and don’t have to be taken out.

• Practice good oral hygiene: Brush as you would brush your natural teeth. There are specifically designed brushes, such as an interdental brush that slides between teeth. Floss daily.
• Regular checkups: See your dentist every six months.
• Avoid damaging habits: Don’t chew hard things, such as ice, and hard candy which can break your crowns. Avoid tooth-staining tobacco and caffeine products. Get treatment if you’re grinding your teeth.

If you have missing or broken teeth, currently use dentures or a tooth-supported bridge, then you probably will be a candidate for dental implants.

To book a Free Implant Consultation fill out the appointment form or call (972) 371-0441 today!

Facts from the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (aaid.com)

• More than 30 million Americans are missing all their teeth in one or both jaws
• 15 million people in the U.S. have crown and bridge replacements for missing teeth
• 3 million have implants and that number is growing by 500,000 a year
• 10% of all U.S. dentists place implants but that is increasing
• The success rate of implants has been reported in scientific literature as 98%
• Implants performed by U.S. dentists 5,505,720 (2006)
• Implants performed by U.S. general dentists 3,103,930 (2006)
• The dental prosthetic market in the U.S. is projected to reach $5 billion by 2018

FAQS

Gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure that can change the shape of your gums. Our dentist can use this procedure to cut away excessive gum tissue that is giving you a “gummy” smile or to restore gum tissue that has receded and is now exposing too much of your teeth.

Typically, this is a highly personal decision that is made based on how you feel about your gums. If your gums are uneven, or they cover too much or too little of your teeth, then you may be a good candidate for gum contouring or gum reshaping. To find out, schedule an appointment with our dental office or fill out appointment form.

There can be, but you will be medicated during the procedure, which will reduce the likelihood of you feeling any pain. The amount of pain really depends on how much gum tissue is being cut away, shaped, or grafted.

This also heavily depends on the type of tools used to complete the procedure. When a scalpel is used for gum contouring, sutures will be necessary and there will be more overall irritation. Very often, lasers can treat the gums without cutting or sutures, decreasing the recovery time. Regardless, you will experience some swelling and discomfort afterward. You can manage it by applying ice packs to your face for 15 minutes at a time and using ibuprofen.

Yes. You will need to be careful with what you eat. Since your gums will be sensitive, you should avoid eating anything that is sharp or that could cut, poke, or irritate them in any way. For this reason, most people stick with a soft diet of yogurt, soup, ice cream or pudding for a couple of days. Follow up visit our dentist will examine the gums to determine if everything is healing properly, and if it is, they will let you know when you can return to all your normal dietary habits. Additionally, you may be prescribed an antibiotic rinse to use in order to combat a potential infection, and when you do brush your teeth, you will need to do so very gently.

These terms are used interchangeably by dentists who perform them. Some may use contouring to describe the procedure with the use of a scalpel and reshaping when lasers are used. At the end of the day, the approach and objective are very similar. It is the tools that are different. The key is that if you want your gums to look different, it doesn’t really matter which term is used, both contouring and reshaping can be an excellent solution.

That depends on why you want to schedule a gum reshaping. If you are calling our office because you suffer from gum disease, we will first examine you to determine if you have the condition, discuss your treatment options, and work to eliminate the actual disease. At that point, you may very well need a gum contouring procedure in order to restore gums that have receded and are now putting the health of your teeth, roots, and jawbone at risk. In a very real sense, gum contouring and grafting can help save your teeth.

While typically gum recession is caused by gum disease, you could also experience this due to excessive tooth brushing, taking a prescription drug, or even genetics. In this case, as with gum disease, restoring your gum tissue may become necessary for your optimum oral health.

That really depends on your insurance company and whether you are getting the procedure to restore gums ravaged by gum disease or if you are having it done to simply remove a gummy smile and improve your appearance. Typically, if it is for health reasons, the insurance company will pay for at least part of it. At Dental Hub, if you have PPO Dental Insurance we will call your insurance and get a specific breakdown of benefits before your appointment so you can be prepared on any cost associated with crown lengthening/gum contouring.

You could get an infection or have a bad reaction to the anesthesia. If you have had surgery and anesthesia before, it is unlikely that you will have a bad reaction this time. Simultaneously, if you follow the aftercare instructions, your risk for infection will go down significantly.

If you do not like the appearance of your smile, call (972) 371-0441 and schedule an appointment with our dental office. We can conduct a thorough examination and take X-rays before discussing what you do not like about your smile. We can then make a series of recommendations for how to address it. If you don’t need gum reshaping for medical reasons, you can always have other cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening or dental bonding completed first to see if the impact is significant enough for you. Otherwise, if your gums remain an obvious issue, you should explore gum contouring further, and we can then make a recommendation for the best way for you to proceed.

Definition of Gum Disease Terminology

Chronic periodontitis is the most common form of periodontitis, involving inflammation of the tissue surrounding the teeth and pockets forming as well.

Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection that causes lesions to form on the face and other symptoms due to the necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligaments and alveolar bone.

A periapical cyst is a pathological cavity, roots of the teeth, that typically has epithelium in the lining and contains fluid or soft matter.

Periodontal disease is a serious inflammation of the gingival tissues and the periodontal membrane of the teeth that causes pain and helps form deeper gingival sulcus.

Periodontal ligaments are a group of tissue fibers that help attach the tooth to the alveolar bone, which can sustain damage from gum disease or improper oral hygiene.

A periodontal pocket is a potential area of space, known as a gingival sulcus, which is deeper than normal and can contain bacteria that cause an infection.

Periodontal surgery is the treatment of extreme levels of periodontal disease that can involve multiple techniques to remove the inflamed tissue and infection before it spreads.

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical therapy that involves the removal of dental plaque in hard to reach places with patients who do not take proper care of their teeth.

CEREC AC Connect allows dental professionals to take digital images of the teeth and send them directly to a dental lab for creation.

CEREC Omnicam is generates a full color scan of the teeth enamel without the need for a powder coating and is simple to operate.

CEREC Orthodontics allow for orthodontists to create a 3D scan of the patient’s teeth without the need for an impression tray to make a mold of the teeth.

CEREC Smile Design Software is a tool that enhances the restoration process to create an accurate digital image of the teeth and what the patient will need to restore his or her smile.

CEREC Zirconia is a material with high flexural strength, biocompatibility and tissue-conserving preparation.

Cone beam technology enhances the process for gathering information and images of teeth in order to provide a much more precise treatment.

Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the function) of a person’s teeth, gums and/or bite.

Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that increases the extent of a tooth structure for restorative or esthetic purposes.

A crown is an artificial tooth, usually consisting of porcelain, which covers the top of the implant to provide people with an aesthetically pleasing and fully-functional tooth.

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