When you look in the mirror, do you see more of your teeth, or your gums? If you see more gum than teeth, you have what is known as a “gummy smile.” Maybe you want to get that fixed so people see more of your beautiful teeth. Maybe you have gum tissue that is uneven in some way. Either way, your cosmetic dentist in Herndon, VA can help fix your gummy smile.
What Is a Gummy Smile?
A smile is usually perceived as “gummy” once four millimeters, or slightly more than an eighth of an inch, of gum tissue shows. Gummy smiles occur when the proportions of the gum tissues, teeth, and upper jaw are not in harmony with each other. This issue can usually be fixed with a procedure called crown lengthening.
What is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a type of gum recontouring in Herndon. The procedure involves reshaping the gum tissue and bone to expose more of the teeth. It can be done for just one tooth or even the whole gum line. If your smile is only gummy on the right side of your mouth, for example, your dentist can lengthen the crowns on just your right side. Crown lengthening can be done to fix your smile, or to make room for cosmetic treatment like porcelain veneers.
How Is Crown Lengthening Done?
The procedure is typically performed in the dentist’s office and does not require a specialist. Often before the treatment, your dentist will draw lines on a picture of your mouth to show you what the gum like will look like afterwards. That way, you can see just how beautiful your smile will be.
Your dentist will numb your gums with a local anesthetic. Then they will likely use a soft tissue laser to remove excess gum tissue, making your teeth appear longer. This special type of laser also seals the tissue to prevent bleeding.
What Are the Benefits of Crown Lengthening?
Modern crown lengthening surgery has many benefits, including:
- Less invasive. Dentist used to have to reduce gum tissue with a scalpel, which caused more pain and bleeding and necessitated a longer recovery time. A soft tissue laser makes the procedure quicker and easier.
- Minimal pain and bleeding. The soft tissue laser automatically cauterizes the tissue to prevent bleeding and pain. Any discomfort you feel afterwards can typically be managed with an over-the-counter painkiller.
- More self-confidence. Being unsatisfied with the way your smile looks can lead to self-esteem problems. By shaping your smile with crown lengthening, you can be happy and not afraid to show off those pearly whites of yours.
A gummy smile may not be the end of the world, but there’s no reason you can’t get it fixed and improve your confidence. If you have a gummy smile, schedule an appointment with your dentist today to learn how you can improve it.
About the Author
Dr. Farshad Bahktyari graduated magna cum laude with his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 2002 from Boston University. He completed a one-year residency at Boston University with an emphasis on fixed prosthodontics and endodontic therapy, meaning crowns, bridges, veneers, and other procedures involving the pulp, or inner layer of the tooth. To learn more about how he can help fix your gummy smile, click here or call him at (703)-722-8806.