Cosmetic Gum Surgery

For a less gummy smile.

If you’re looking for a smile makeover, you have plenty of options to explore — from resin bonding, to crowns, to veneers. While we strive to use the simplest approach possible, especially for anyone looking to change a “gummy smile,” we find that altering the tissues around the teeth can provide far superior results than other services alone. Esthetic gum surgery can make your teeth longer by re-contouring hard and soft tissues around your teeth. Gum surgery can restore very broken down teeth or make a veneer possible on a short tooth.

Can’t you just use a laser to remove and re-contour just the soft tissue around my teeth?

In many cases of gummy smiles, the bone around the teeth is too close to the exposed teeth. The height tissue grows from the bone to the tooth is a biological set distance. Because of this, if only the gum tissues is removed and the underlying bone is left unaltered, the tissue will simply regrow to where it had been before the laser procedure. The only way to lower tissue levels around the teeth is to lower the bone levels around the teeth, which requires gum surgery.

Will I need crowns or veneers after esthetic gum surgery?

No. In cases such as for people who undergo orthodontic work (braces) and end up with a gummy smile, simple contouring of the tissues around the teeth followed by the three months of healing is all that is needed. This will allow the tissues to shrink back to where they should be for the anatomical size of the teeth.

Will my gums be painful after gum surgery?

It is rare for crown lengthening to cause a patient pain afterwards simply because no teeth are removed, and the amount of re-contoured bone and the incisions are minimal. Most patients report minor discomfort after gum surgery, and it disappears with over-the-counter pain medication to totally resolve within five to six days.

How long does gum surgery take? And is IV sedation a pain management option?

Gum surgery takes between 60 to 90 minutes on average, with upwards of two hours in cases of significant work. IV sedation (deep or moderate) is an effective pain management option for this surgery. At your consultation with Dr. B, be sure to talk to him about what would be best for you specifically.

After gum surgery, how soon can I have cosmetic work done?

Any patient who underwent gum surgery must wait at least three months for tissues to stabilize. If restorations are placed too early, tissue recession can occur and compromise the esthetics of the entire smile makeover. But, it is common for Dr. B to prep your teeth for future work at the one-month post-op appointment with temporary fixes so the smile mimics the overall results once further work is done.

What is the cost of gum surgery? Will my insurance cover it?

The cost is highly dependent on the type of dental insurance and coverage you have. Because Story City Dental is in-network with so many insurance companies, it is likely your insurance may cover part of the procedure. To learn more, please give us a call and provide us with the name of your insurer and your insurance plan details.

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