Gum contouring — also known as gingivoplasty, gingivectomy or laser gum contouring surgery — is a procedure that involves reshaping the gum tissue around certain teeth. Gum contouring is done for a variety of reasons, but it’s typically done to correct a dental issue or as a cosmetic procedure.
Gingivoplasty is minor surgery performed to reshape your healthy gum tissue. Dr. John Koutsoyiannis at Sohosmile in NYC may also perform the procedure if he needs to remove diseased gum tissue for health reasons. Thanks to technological advancements, Dr. John achieves both through laser gum contouring, a procedure that’s not invasive.
Conditions Requiring Gum Reduction
If your gums are uneven — or if they cover too much or too little of your teeth — gum contouring surgery is considered a cosmetic procedure. That means your insurance may not cover it. If your gum tissue is diseased, it becomes a medically necessary procedure. Other conditions that cause you to need laser gum contouring include:
- Gummy smile. Excess tissue covers your teeth, making them appear shorter than they really are.
- Asymmetrical gums. When your gums are uneven because of damage they’ve sustained or from previous dentistry procedures, corrective surgery can make a huge difference in your smile.
- Cleft gums. In some instances, this is a congenital condition. In others, necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is the reason for clefts in your gums.
- Enlarged gums. Swollen gums that cover up too much of your teeth may be a sign of a dangerous infection. Typically, this condition is caused by improper brushing or flossing, changes in hormones, chemotherapy, gum disease, the use of tobacco or irritation caused by the dental products you use.
What’s Involved and What to Expect from the Procedure
You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for the procedure other than limiting your activities that day. Your cosmetic dentist in SoHo applies local anesthesia to numb the area being treated. If you feel a lot of anxiety, you may ask for full sedation, but it’s unusual, since laser gum contouring isn’t painful when done by a skilled, experienced Downtown periodontist at Sohosmile in Lower Manhattan.
A completely safe, soft-tissue laser is used for gum reduction. You may experience some minor discomfort during the laser gum contouring, but most patients report no pain or bleeding. Stitches are not necessary. The entire process takes place in your dentist’s office, and it’s over in less than an hour. It’s a highly successful procedure with minimal risks.
Risks Involved with Gum Contouring Surgery
There is always some risk associated with surgery, even minor surgery. Laser surgery is minimally invasive, so it carries less risk. You can reduce your risk even more by choosing a dentist who has performed the procedure many times. At Sohosmile, you get experience and skill in one place. Your dentist also knows your history and your desires, which help ensure a successful outcome.
While gum contouring is a common procedure, you’re advised to have it done by a trusted cosmetic dentist. At Sohosmile, you get the best care, which reduces the chance of side effects and complications. Some of the rare but possible risks of the procedure include:
- Experiencing abnormal gum swelling. This condition is treatable with ice packs.
- Having your gums bleed more than normal. Some bleeding may occur naturally.
- Removing too much gum tissue, which can cause your gums to heal incorrectly. If this happens, you may experience swelling of your gum tissue that may require another procedure to repair.