You may dislike that you have a “gummy” smile or your dentist may need to access a portion of your tooth beneath the gum line. In both instances, gummy smile treatment, or soft tissue recontouring, is often the ideal solution! Gummy smile treatment reshapes how the gum tissue arches over the tooth crowns to create a more symmetrical smile line. Whether for aesthetic or functional purposes, our gummy smile treatment in Aliso Viejo, CA is designed to restore healthy smiles for our patients!
Prior to the procedure a local anesthetic will be administered to prevent pain and discomfort. Small incisions in the gum tissue will be needed to separate the gums from the teeth. In some cases, a small amount of bone will also need to be removed to create a natural smile. Once the procedure is completed, we will clean the incisions with sterile water and place sutures and a protective bandage over the area to encourage the teeth and newly contoured gums to re-attach to each other. A follow up appointment will be needed one to two weeks after the procedure to have the sutures removed and so that the doctor can evaluate healing. After the area has completely healed (6-8 weeks), your smile will be back to normal or the final restorative dentistry such as a crown or bridge can be placed.
Aesthetic crown lengthening, or a “gum lift,” involves removing excess gum and bone tissue and reshaping the smile to expose more of the natural tooth. While the procedure can be performed on just one tooth, it is most often done to the entire smile. The end result is that more of the natural tooth is exposed creating a wider, more beautiful smile. This gummy smile treatment can also be done to preserve the health of the smile. Removing excess gum tissue can help control and prevent periodontal disease. Increasing the exposed surface area of the tooth will decrease the depth of pockets between teeth where bacteria can grow and harm your teeth and gums.
Functional crown lengthening will be needed in order to perform a cosmetic or restorative procedure. This may be the case if a tooth is too far decayed, broken below the gumline, or has insufficient structure for restoration like a crown or bridge. In cases like this, the dentist may be required to lower the gum and bone levels to expose more of the root surface so it can be restored. However, simply trimming back the gum line is not sufficient. Instead, we will need to reshape the gums and supporting bone to allow for adequate room to place a high quality restoration.
Before and after photo Crown Lengthening