Having a more attractive smile can make a world of difference in how you feel about yourself, as well as how other people view you. In fact, several studies conducted in recent years have shown that people who feel good about their smiles have higher self-esteem and more self-confidence than people who don’t. But that’s not all – some of those same studies have proven that people have a more positive impression of someone with a nice smile, generally seeing them as more honest and trustworthy, among other things. Sadly, for some people with “gummy” smiles the idea of having a more attractive smile may seem like only a pipe dream. But it’s not! Thanks to modern dental technology and a procedure called laser gum contouring, these patients can enjoy a more beautiful smile in just a few short weeks. If you’ve considered having this procedure, you may be wondering, “Does gum contouring hurt?” We’ve compiled the information in this article to answer that question and many others for dental patients from throughout the Cedar Park, Texas area.
What Exactly Is a “Gummy” Smile?
What Is Involved in Laser Gum Contouring
The process involves your dentist using a specially designed laser to surgically remove excess gum tissue from the surface of your teeth, exposing more tooth surface and creating a dramatically different-looking smile. The laser not only cuts away excess gums – it also cauterizes the tissue at the same time. This minimizes the amount of bleeding during the procedure, eliminates the need for stitches or sutures, and allows the patient to heal much faster than would be otherwise possible.
The process involved in gum contouring hasn’t always been so simple. For many years, before the advent of dental laser technology, removing gum tissue had to be done with a scalpel. The tissue then had to be sutured and left to heal for many weeks afterward. Fortunately, lasers have changed all that. Today’s gum contouring process is relatively quick and – thanks to local anaesthesia and dental sedation – virtually painless.
Does Gum Contouring Hurt?
Considering the fact that the procedure involves cutting away a certain amount of gum tissue, that’s a very good question! You will no doubt be pleasantly surprised to learn that most patients feel little to no discomfort during the procedure itself. Your dentist will ensure this by using both local anaesthesia and, in most cases, some form of dental sedation. The anaesthesia will numb the gum tissue, and the sedation will help you to feel more at ease and relaxed during the procedure. Although the specific type of sedation offered to the patient varies depending on the dentist, most offer one or more of the following:
- Nitrous oxide – Also referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a mild form of sedation intended for patients who feel only slightly nervous about their procedure. It is administered in the dentist’s chair right before the procedure, and usually wears off quickly afterward. That means that patients can drive themselves to the dentist and home afterward as well.
- Oral sedation – If you feel as though you need something stronger than nitrous oxide, your dentist might prescribe some type of oral sedation. This method involves taking a sedative (in the form of a pill or capsule) before you arrive at the dentist’s office. Oral sedation makes you feel very much at ease and relaxed, although you’ll still be awake during the procedure. Because this form of sedation requires you to take a pill prior to arriving at the office, and the effects are slow to wear off afterwards, you’ll need someone to drive you to your appointment and take you home again after it’s done.
- IV sedation – Many patients who undergo a gum contouring procedure prefer something more potent than either laughing gas or oral sedation. For those individuals, the dentist may recommend IV sedation. Administered to the patient in the dentist’s chair via an IV, this form of sedation will allow you to remain completely relaxed throughout the procedure. Although you’ll still be conscious, you may not remember everything that happens during your visit, and you’ll definitely need a ride home after the appointment since it takes some time for the effects of the sedation to wear off.
Modern methods of dental anaesthesia and sedation make it possible for patients to feel little or no discomfort during the laser gum contouring procedure. You will, however, feel some soreness at the surgical site afterwards. In fact, after you get home and begin healing from your procedure, it’s normal to experience a certain amount of swelling and some tenderness on the gum tissue. The good news is that within a short period of time, your gums will be completely healed, and you’ll enjoy all the benefits of a more beautiful smile.
If you’re considering having this procedure and are wondering, “Does gum contouring hurt?” we have great news! Thanks to laser technology, combined with aneathesia and dental sedation methods, this remarkable process is not only relatively simple and quick – it’s also virtually painless. To find out more about the gum contouring process, and to decide whether or not this is the best choice for you, contact your Cedar Park, Texas dentist today and schedule an appointment. If you’re embarrassed by your “gummy” smile, you should know that modern technology can resolve that issue for you sooner than you can imagine. In fact, you could be just a few short weeks away from a more beautiful smile!