Gum Contouring: What to Expect
Gum contouring surgery is performed in the dentist's office. Currently, dentists use scalpels, lasers, and radiosurgery to perform the gum contouring procedure. Ask your dentist which technique would be the most suitable for your situation.
Before surgery, your doctor should go over what he or she will be doing during the procedure. Often, dentists will use a pen and draw a line to mark the new gum line. That way, you can see exactly how much gum will be removed or how the gum line will be reshaped.
A local anesthetic may be applied to numb the area. Sometimes, bone at the front of the tooth's root must also be removed during gum contouring to get the best long-term results.
Gum Contouring: Recovery
The day of surgery, you should rest and limit your activities. It may take a few days or weeks for your gums to heal completely. Your dentist will give you specific directions about what you need to do to aid the recovery process. Here are some general tips to get you through the recovery period:
- Ease pain by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol or Advil, as directed by your dentist. Do not take aspirin, which can cause bleeding.
- Eat soft, cool foods, such as eggs, pasta, yogurt, cottage cheese, soft vegetables, and ice cream, for the first few days after surgery. Avoid spicy foods and anything with seeds until your gums have healed completely.
- Follow your dentist's directions on when and how to brush your teeth during the healing process.
If you notice excessive swelling or bleeding, or if you have any concerns following the procedure, call your dentist.
Gum Contouring: The Risks
No surgery is without risks. The risks associated with gum contouring include:
If you are unhappy with the way your teeth and gums look, talk to your dentist to see if gum contouring surgery is right for you. But remember, as with any cosmetic procedure, the end result depends on the skill of the doctor. Do not go to just anyone. Do your homework and make sure you are comfortable with the dentist's abilities. Ask the dentist what additional training he or she has had in cosmetic dentistry. Also, ask to see photos of the work he or she has done, and make sure you like what you see.