If you have a “gummy” smile, you might be a good candidate for gum contouring. A gummy smile is one in which the gum tissue extends too far down on the surface of the tooth. This condition not only has a negative impact on the appearance of the patient’s smile – it also increases the person’s risk for developing gum disease. If you’re considering having this procedure to resolve your gummy smile, you might be wondering what gum contouring costs. In this article, we’ve collected information to answer that question along with many others for dental patients from throughout the Cedar Park, Texas area.
Who Needs Gum Contouring?
The Traditional Gum Contouring Procedure
The Laser Gum Contouring Procedure
Thanks to laser technology, the process involved for most modern-day gum contouring procedures is much less invasive. It begins with the dentist administering local anaesthetic to the affected portion of the gum tissue, as well as providing some form of dental sedation to the patient if needed. (Note that although some patients prefer sedation to feel more relaxed while in the dentist’s chair, laser gum contouring produces little or no discomfort whatsoever, so sedation is usually optional and not necessary unless the patient requests it or the dentist recommends it.) Once the area is numb, the dentist will use a specially designed laser to carefully resculpt the patient’s gum line, removing excess tissue and exposing much more of the tooth surface. Sutures are not usually required, although they may be in some instances if a significant amount of tissue is removed.
There are several advantages that come with laser gum contouring:
- The laser cauterizes the tissue at the same time as the incisions are made. This means much less bleeding during the procedure, eliminating the need for sutures (in most cases), and reducing the amount of time needed to heal afterward.
- The dentist is able to make more precise incisions with a laser, which means that the surrounding tissue will incur very minimal damage.
- Because the laser makes the procedure essentially painless, the patient is able to remain awake during the procedure.
- The cauterization of tissue results in less swelling after the procedure, as well as reducing the possibility of infection forming later during recovery.
What Does Gum Contouring Cost?
As is always the case with any procedure, the exact cost of gum contouring depends on the fees charged by the dentist or oral surgeon. Those fees vary, but you can expect to pay on average about $200 per tooth. Keep in mind that the cost may also vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and how many teeth will require recontouring.
Fortunately, for those patients that need the procedure done for oral health reasons, it’s quite possible that dental insurance could cover a portion of the cost – in some cases, as much as 50%. But if gum contouring is chosen for strictly cosmetic purposes, insurance will probably not help pay for the procedure. Many dentists offer some form of payment plans for their patients who don’t have adequate insurance coverage, so be sure to ask your dentist what options are available to you.
Recovering from Gum Contouring
The amount of time required to recover from the procedure all depends on whether you go through traditional contouring (where the dentist uses a scalpel to remove tissue) or laser gum contouring. Generally speaking, the recovery time involved with traditional contouring is somewhat longer. If you undergo a laser procedure, you can expect a shorter recovery period. Either way, it typically takes several weeks before the gum tissue is fully healed, but it also depends on how extensive the procedure was.
Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide you with a set of instructions on what you should and shouldn’t do during your recovery. You’ll probably be instructed to eat only soft foods for the first few days afterwards; your dentist will tell you to avoid brushing and flossing at the surgical site for a period of time, and to use salt water rinse instead to keep your mouth clean; and your dentist may prescribe an anti-bacterial mouthwash, for example, to reduce the chance of an infection forming. As long as you follow the instructions from your dentist or oral surgeon, you should recover fully within a few weeks, and enjoy a more beautiful, healthier smile!
If you have a gummy smile and are interested in this procedure, contact your Cedar, Texas dentist today to find out more about what gum contouring costs. Then, schedule your appointment and let your dentist help you decide whether or not you are a good candidate for a gum contouring procedure.