Your gums play an essential role in the aesthetics of your smile. If you have a high gum to tooth ratio, you have what we usually call a gummy smile. A gum lift can help get the aesthetically pleasing balance between your gums and teeth. Dr. Bradley Dean, a periodontist in Plano, TX, answers some frequently asked questions about the gum lift procedure.
Gum Lift Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the difference between a gum lift and crown lengthening?
A: These are basically the same procedure. When it’s being done for cosmetic problems like having a gummy smile, that’s when it’s called a gum lift. This procedure can also be done in an area that isn’t typically visible and for functionality reasons. This is when it’s called crown lengthening.
Q: For what reasons is a gum lift usually done?
A: Cosmetically, gum lifts eliminate the appearance of a gummy smile. This is typically only done on the front teeth that are seen when you smile. The gums are remodeled to eliminate excess tissue and show off more of the teeth. In some instances, some of the underlying bone may be removed to expose more of the tooth.
When done for functional purposes, it’s typically making room to fit a dental crown. If your tooth breaks off at the gum line or there’s tooth decay under a filling that came out, it may be necessary to expose more of your tooth to be able to fix it correctly.
Q: Am I eligible to get a gum lift?
A: As with any procedure, we’ll have you schedule a consultation with Dr. Dean for a thorough examination and consultation. He’ll talk to you about your medical history and the goals you have for your smile. He’ll also do an examination of your mouth to make sure you have ideal oral health and x-rays will be taken so he can observe the makeup of your mouth.
This information will make sure that you’re a good candidate to proceed with the procedure. Dr. Dean may recommend things like getting a dental cleaning before completing the process. Each patient is different, so each treatment plan will be catered to the individual.
Q: What can I expect from the procedure?
A: A gum lift is a simple procedure that’s done right in our office. You’ll be given a local anesthetic to numb the entire area Dr. Dean will be working on. If you suffer from dental anxiety or other medical conditions, we offer various forms of sedation dentistry to ensure you’re relaxed throughout the entire procedure.
A small incision is made to separate the gum tissue from the teeth. Sometimes, only a small amount of gum tissue has to be removed from the impacted teeth, as well as some adjoining teeth to make sure things are even. Other times, some of the bone will have to be removed as well. The need for bone removal or not will impact how long the procedure will last.
If we find that your teeth are worn down from grinding, we can work with your general dentist to make sure you get dental crowns or veneers that give you the look you want!
Gum Lifts From Your Plano, Texas Periodontist
Ready to fix your gummy smile? Call us or schedule an appointment online.