Are you embarrassed about your smile due to prominent gums? While having a gummy smile is generally not indicative of the health of your teeth, it can cause some people to become self-conscious. If this sounds like you, there are steps that you can take so that you are able to smile without wanting to cover your mouth with your hand. Laser dentistry is a safe and effective way of turning your smile from gummy to gorgeous in no time at all.
How the procedure works
Though the words laser dentistry may strike fear into your heart, the procedure to alter a gummy smile is a lot less complicated than you'd imagine; all your dentist will do is remove a small part of your gum tissue, revealing more of the teeth underneath. And, because only a fraction of the tissue is removed, the end result is a far less gummy smile with more prominent teeth.
How does it work?
Firstly, your dentist will examine your teeth and decide how much of the gum tissue needs to be removed. He or she may take impressions of your gums to help in the decision, and possibly even an X-ray so that the jaw bone and tooth roots can be closely examined. Once a decision has been made on how much to remove, your dentist will numb you with a local anesthetic and fit a cheek and lip extractor; this small rubber device will prevent your cheeks and lips from getting in the way as the dentist works on your gum. Next, a low-intensity laser is used on the gum tissue, the heat of which cauterizes the tissue. This way there is very little blood or swelling.
What can I expect after the procedure?
Because laser dentistry involves little blood and so doesn't require any stitches, there won't be much to do after the procedure, and the area should heal quickly. After your procedure, your dentist should schedule a follow-up appointment with you to so he or she can check that the tissue is healing well and that the newly exposed parts of the teeth are healthy. Expect some sensitivity for a few days after the procedure; this is perfectly normal and will be helped if you try to avoid any food that is particularly hot or cold.
Talk to your dentist if you're tired of your gummy smile – laser cosmetic dentistry may be the answer for you.