Our gums are a fundamental part of the topography of our smile, affecting every element of the appearance of our teeth. Too much gum can give us a gummy or horsey look and can even make our teeth appear absurdly short when they are, in fact, a natural length. When the discussion of cosmetic dentistry comes up, it’s most often in the context of correcting damage to our teeth or reshaping them. This isn’t the extent of what cosmetic dentistry can do, however. More and more dentists are offering a procedure that can change the shape of your gums by eliminating excess or unwanted gingival tissue.
An Introductory Guide To Gum Contouring
Gum sculpting, also known as a gum lift, is a procedure available at a growing number of dental offices that involves the removal of unwanted gingival tissue. In cases where there is too little gum as the result of gum recession, gingival restoration is also available. You will find that, in the majority of cases, this procedure is considered an elective or voluntary procedure and is therefore not covered by insurance. In some cases, where there is a medical need for gum restoration, insurance may pay for all or part of the procedure.
- Gum contouring is an out-patient procedure, meaning you’ll leave the clinic the day of the procedure.
- General anesthesia is typically unnecessary, so you’ll be awake through the procedure most of the time.
- Discomfort levels after the procedure can vary depending on the severity of the condition.
- OTC pain relievers are usually sufficient to control it, though your dentist may prescribe something more aggressive if needed.
- Cold compresses can help to ease swelling when applied for 15-20 minutes at a time.
This procedure commonly takes an hour or two, though this period can vary in either direction based on the amount of work that needs to be done. As mentioned previously, it’s uncommon for this procedure to be covered by insurance unless it is deemed medically necessary. In cases where insurance coverage isn’t available, you can expect to pay approximately $50-350 per tooth, ranging all the way up to $3000 to take care of all the teeth in the front of your top arch. Questions about your coverage and responsibility for the costs should be directed to your dental insurance provider, though our dental team can often help find the answers.
Recovering From Gum Contouring
It’s not uncommon for the recovery period to range from a few days to a few weeks, with more intensive surgeries taking longer to heal. During the recovery period, you’ll need to limit your food choices to soft foods such as applesauce, yogurt, soup, and Jell-o. Any additional dietary concerns will be presented by your dentist following the procedure. Finally, you may be prescribed an antibiotic to help keep the chance of infection to a minimum. While recovering, you will be called in for one or more follow-up appointments to check on how the surgical site is healing. Immediately report any increase in pain, swelling, or the appearance of discharge from your gums.