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Prestwich Dental Clinic

Gum and Teeth Contouring

View more about our teeth and gum contouring solutions below.

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Looking for the Perfect Smile?

In some cases people seek cosmetic dentistry because of the gums rather than the teeth, perhaps they are unhappy with a ‘gummy smile’. Call our caring team on 0161 773 7080 today.

Teeth Contouring

Teeth contouring involves shaping the tooth to improve the shape, size, and appearance of your teeth. It is a quick and painless procedure that can be used to treat a wide range of dental concerns such as slightly overlapping teeth, crooked teeth, chipped teeth, and worn or uneven teeth. As only the enamel is being reshaped, the treatment is completely pain-free. Our main priority is ensuring that you’re comfortable during the procedure, your teeth are healthy, and that you’re happy with your new smile.

Gum Contouring

A short procedure to improve the gum-line. In some cases, the gum can simply be trimmed back. In other cases, the bone and gum need to be cut back. During this treatment, a flap of gum is lifted and the bone is trimmed and the gum replaced. This can have a significant effect on appearance.

Dental Maintenance Plans

We offer a comprehensive membership plan which provides many benefits as well as 20% off treatment* and starts from as little as £9.99/month adults/£5.99/month children – please ask at reception or call us at 0161 773 7080

Gum and Teeth Contouring – Frequently Asked Questions

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring, also known as gingival contouring or gum reshaping, is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves reshaping the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. It is a popular treatment option for individuals who desire a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

Types of Gum Contouring

Gum contouring can be categorised into two main types:

  • Gum Recontouring: This procedure involves removing excess gum tissue to expose more of the tooth's surface, creating a balanced gum line and improving the overall appearance of the smile.
  • Crown Lengthening: In this procedure, a small amount of gum tissue and sometimes bone is removed to expose more of the tooth's structure. This is typically done to prepare a tooth for a dental crown or to improve the appearance of a "gummy" smile.

Purpose and Benefits

The primary purpose of gum contouring is to improve the aesthetic appearance of the smile by addressing various concerns, such as:

  • Excessive Gum Display (Gummy Smile): Gum contouring can reduce the amount of gum tissue visible when smiling, creating a more balanced and attractive gum line.
  • Uneven Gum Line: The procedure can reshape and level the gum line, creating a more symmetrical and harmonious appearance.
  • Gum Recession: In some cases, gum contouring can be used to cover exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession, improving both the appearance and protection of the affected teeth.

In addition to aesthetic benefits, gum contouring can also facilitate other dental treatments, such as dental crowns or veneers, by exposing more of the tooth's surface for better fitting and natural-looking results.

Procedure and Recovery

Gum contouring is typically performed by a periodontist or a dentist with extensive training in periodontal procedures. The process involves the use of specialized dental instruments or a soft tissue laser to carefully remove and reshape the gum tissue.

After the procedure, patients may experience some mild discomfort, swelling, and sensitivity, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and proper oral hygiene. The recovery process typically takes a few days to a week, during which time patients should follow their dentist's instructions for maintaining good oral hygiene and minimizing any potential complications.

Gum contouring offers several benefits, both aesthetic and functional, for individuals seeking to improve the appearance and health of their smile. The primary advantages of this procedure include:

Aesthetic Benefits

  • Improved Smile Aesthetics: By reshaping the gum line, gum contouring can create a more balanced and symmetrical smile, enhancing overall facial aesthetics.
  • Reduction of "Gummy" Smile: For individuals with excessive gum tissue display when smiling (known as a "gummy" smile), gum contouring can reduce the amount of visible gum, resulting in a more proportionate and attractive smile.
  • Enhanced Tooth Appearance: By exposing more of the tooth's surface, gum contouring can make teeth appear longer and more aesthetically pleasing, especially in cases where teeth appear short or stubby.

Functional Benefits

  • Improved Oral Hygiene: By reshaping the gum line and removing excess gum tissue, gum contouring can make it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene by reducing hard-to-reach areas where plaque and bacteria can accumulate.
  • Preparation for Restorative Treatments: Gum contouring is often performed to prepare teeth for restorative treatments such as crowns or veneers, ensuring a proper fit and natural-looking results.
  • Management of Gum Recession: In some cases, gum contouring can be used to cover exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession, improving both the appearance and protection of the affected teeth.

Psychological Benefits

Beyond the physical improvements, gum contouring can also provide psychological benefits by boosting self-confidence and improving overall self-esteem. A more attractive and harmonious smile can have a positive impact on an individual's personal and professional interactions.

It's essential to consult with a qualified dental professional to determine if gum contouring is the right solution for you and to understand the potential risks and limitations of the procedure.

Gum contouring is a surgical procedure performed by a skilled dental professional, typically a periodontist or a dentist with specialised training in periodontal procedures. The process involves reshaping the gum tissue to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing and functional gum line.

Preparation

  • Consultation: The first step involves a thorough consultation with your dental professional. They will evaluate your oral health, discuss your desired outcome, and determine if gum contouring is an appropriate treatment option for you.
  • Dental Impressions and Imaging: Your dentist may take dental impressions, X-rays, or other imaging to assess the underlying bone structure and plan the gum contouring procedure accordingly.

Procedure Steps

  1. Anaesthesia: Local anaesthesia is administered to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
  2. Gum Tissue Removal: Your dental professional will use specialised dental instruments or a soft tissue laser to carefully remove and reshape the excess gum tissue. This process is known as "gingivectomy" when removing gum tissue or "crown lengthening" when removing gum tissue and a small amount of bone.
  3. Contouring and Reshaping: Once the excess gum tissue is removed, your dentist will precisely sculpt and contour the remaining gum tissue to achieve the desired gum line shape and symmetry.
  4. Hemostasis: After contouring, your dentist will apply pressure or use specific agents to control bleeding and promote clotting.
  5. Bandages or Dressings: In some cases, a protective dressing or bandage may be placed over the treated area to protect it during the initial healing phase.

Recovery and Aftercare

Following the gum contouring procedure, you can expect some discomfort, swelling, and sensitivity. Your dentist will provide you with detailed instructions for proper aftercare, including:

  • Pain management with over-the-counter or prescribed medication
  • Applying cold compresses to reduce swelling
  • Maintaining excellent oral hygiene while avoiding vigorous brushing or flossing in the treated area
  • Dietary recommendations, such as sticking to soft foods for a few days
  • Scheduling follow-up appointments for monitoring and evaluation

The healing process typically takes around 1-2 weeks, during which time you should follow your dentist's instructions carefully to ensure proper healing and optimal results.

Determining whether you are a suitable candidate for gum contouring involves a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified dental professional. Several factors are taken into consideration, including:

Oral Health

  • Gum Health: To undergo gum contouring, you should have healthy gum tissues free from severe periodontal disease or infection. Any existing gum issues may need to be addressed before the procedure.
  • Tooth Health: Your teeth should be in good condition, without extensive decay or damage that could compromise the outcome of the procedure.

Aesthetic Concerns

  • Excessive Gum Display: If you have a "gummy" smile, where an excessive amount of gum tissue is visible when smiling, you may be a good candidate for gum contouring to improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile.
  • Uneven Gum Line: An irregular or asymmetrical gum line can also be corrected through gum contouring, providing a more balanced and harmonious appearance.

Functional Considerations

  • Restorative Treatments: Gum contouring may be recommended to prepare teeth for restorative treatments, such as crowns or veneers, by exposing more of the tooth structure for better fitting and natural-looking results.
  • Gum Recession: In cases of gum recession, where the tooth roots are exposed, gum contouring can be performed to cover the exposed areas and improve both aesthetics and protection.

Other Factors

  • Age and Overall Health: Your age and overall health status will be considered, as certain medical conditions or medications may affect healing and increase the risk of complications.
  • Expectations and Motivation: It's essential to have realistic expectations about the potential outcomes of gum contouring and be motivated to follow the necessary aftercare instructions to ensure optimal results.

Your dental professional will thoroughly evaluate your specific situation, discuss your goals, and provide guidance on whether gum contouring is the most appropriate treatment option for you.

Gum contouring is a surgical procedure, and some level of discomfort is to be expected. However, modern dental techniques and proper pain management strategies aim to minimize any significant pain or discomfort during and after the procedure.

During the Procedure

  • Local Anaesthesia: Before the gum contouring procedure begins, your dental professional will administer local anaesthesia to numb the treatment area. This ensures that you do not experience any pain or discomfort during the actual contouring process.
  • Gentle Techniques: Experienced dental professionals use specialized instruments and gentle techniques to reshape the gum tissue, minimizing trauma and discomfort.

After the Procedure

  • Mild Discomfort: Once the local anaesthesia wears off, you may experience some mild discomfort or soreness in the treated area. This is a normal part of the healing process and typically subsides within a few days.
  • Pain Management: Your dentist will provide you with instructions for managing any post-procedural discomfort. This may include taking over-the-counter pain medication, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, as directed.
  • Swelling and Sensitivity: You may experience some swelling and sensitivity in the treated area, which can be managed with cold compresses and proper oral hygiene practices.

Factors Affecting Discomfort Levels

  • Extent of Treatment: The level of discomfort may vary depending on the extent of the gum contouring procedure. More extensive reshaping or crown lengthening may result in slightly higher levels of post-operative discomfort.
  • Individual Pain Tolerance: Each person's pain tolerance and perception of discomfort can vary, so some individuals may experience more or less discomfort than others.

It's important to follow your dentist's instructions carefully regarding pain management and aftercare to promote proper healing and minimize any discomfort. If you experience severe or persistent pain, be sure to contact your dental professional for further evaluation and guidance.

The duration of a gum contouring procedure can vary depending on several factors, but it is generally considered a relatively quick dental treatment. The typical timeframe for the procedure itself is as follows:

Simple Gum Contouring

  • Reshaping or Gingivectomy: A straightforward gum reshaping or gingivectomy procedure, which involves removing excess gum tissue to correct an uneven gum line or expose more of the tooth structure, typically takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour per quadrant (quarter) of the mouth.

Crown Lengthening

  • Bone Removal: If the gum contouring procedure involves removing a small amount of bone in addition to the gum tissue (known as crown lengthening), the duration can be slightly longer, typically ranging from 1 to 2 hours per quadrant.

Factors Affecting Duration

  • Extent of Treatment: The more extensive the treatment area, the longer the procedure will take. For instance, contouring the gum line around multiple teeth or all quadrants of the mouth will naturally require more time.
  • Complexity: If the procedure is more complex due to factors such as severe gum overgrowth, irregularities in the bone structure, or the need for additional procedures like bone grafting, the overall duration can increase.
  • Experience of the Dentist: A highly skilled and experienced dental professional may be able to perform the procedure more efficiently, potentially reducing the overall time required.

Pre-operative and Post-operative Appointments

In addition to the actual gum contouring procedure, there may be separate appointments scheduled for the following:

  • Initial Consultation: An initial consultation is typically scheduled to assess your needs, discuss your goals, and plan the treatment.
  • Follow-up Appointments: Your dentist may schedule one or more follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process, provide additional instructions, and ensure optimal results.

It's important to note that while the procedure itself is relatively quick, the overall treatment process, including pre-operative preparations and post-operative follow-ups, may span several appointments over a period of weeks or months.

The recovery process after a gum contouring procedure is typically straightforward, but it's essential to follow your dentist's instructions carefully to ensure proper healing and optimal results. Here's what you can expect during the recovery period:

Immediate Aftercare

  • Discomfort and Swelling: It's normal to experience some discomfort, swelling, and minor bleeding immediately after the procedure. Your dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses to help manage these symptoms.
  • Protective Dressing: In some cases, a protective dressing or bandage may be placed over the treated area to protect it during the initial healing phase.

First Few Days

  • Diet Restrictions: For the first few days, you'll need to stick to a soft or liquid diet to avoid irritating the treated area. Avoid hot, spicy, or crunchy foods that could cause discomfort or damage to the healing gums.
  • Oral Hygiene: Proper oral hygiene is crucial during the recovery process. Your dentist will provide specific instructions on how to brush and floss gently in the treated area to keep it clean and promote healing.

First Week

  • Healing Progress: Within the first week, the initial swelling and discomfort should begin to subside gradually. Your gums may appear red or slightly inflamed, which is a normal part of the healing process.
  • Dietary Restrictions Eased: As healing progresses, you can slowly reintroduce solid foods into your diet, but continue to avoid anything that could irritate or damage the healing gums.

Following Weeks

  • Tissue Remodeling: Over the next few weeks, the gum tissue will continue to heal and remodel itself, resulting in a more natural and aesthetically pleasing gum line.
  • Follow-up Appointments: Your dentist may schedule follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process and ensure that everything is progressing as expected.

Long-Term Care

Once the initial healing is complete, it's essential to maintain good oral hygiene habits and attend regular dental check-ups to ensure the long-term success of the gum contouring procedure. Your dentist may also recommend touch-up treatments or additional procedures if needed.

Remember, everyone's healing process can vary, so it's crucial to follow your dentist's specific instructions and report any concerns or complications promptly.

The cost of gum contouring in the UK can vary depending on several factors, as it is considered a cosmetic dental procedure and is not typically covered by the National Health Service (NHS). Here's an overview of the factors that can influence the cost and the approximate price range you can expect:

Factors Affecting the Cost

  • Extent of Treatment: The more extensive the gum contouring procedure, the higher the cost. For example, contouring a single tooth or small area will be less expensive than reshaping the entire gum line.
  • Technique Used: The specific technique used, such as traditional surgical gum contouring or laser gum contouring, can impact the cost. Laser procedures are generally more expensive but may offer faster healing times.
  • Dentist's Experience: The expertise and reputation of the dentist or periodontist performing the procedure can influence the overall cost. More experienced professionals may charge higher fees.
  • Geographic Location: The cost of gum contouring may vary depending on the region or city in the UK, as the cost of living and overhead expenses for dental practices can differ.

Approximate Cost Range

While the exact cost can vary significantly based on the factors mentioned above, here's an approximate range for gum contouring costs in the UK:

  • Simple Gum Contouring: For a straightforward gum reshaping or gingivectomy procedure involving a few teeth, the cost can range from £300 to £800.
  • Extensive Gum Contouring: If the procedure involves contouring the entire gum line or multiple quadrants of the mouth, the cost can range from £1,000 to £3,000 or more.
  • Crown Lengthening: If the procedure involves crown lengthening, which includes removing a small amount of bone in addition to gum tissue, the cost can range from £500 to £2,000 or more, depending on the extent of treatment.

Additional Considerations

It's important to note that the cost of gum contouring may not include additional expenses such as consultations, imaging (X-rays or scans), follow-up appointments, or any necessary follow-up treatments. Be sure to discuss the complete cost breakdown with your dentist or periodontist during the initial consultation.

Additionally, some dental practices may offer payment plans or finance options to help make the cost of gum contouring more manageable. It's always recommended to obtain multiple quotes from reputable dental practices in your area to find the most suitable option for your needs and budget.

Yes, gum contouring is an effective treatment option for correcting a "gummy smile," a condition where excessive gum tissue is visible when smiling, creating an unbalanced or disproportionate appearance.

What is a "Gummy Smile"?

A "gummy smile" occurs when a person's gum tissue extends too far over the teeth, exposing a larger-than-normal portion of the gums when smiling. This can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Excessive Gum Tissue: Some individuals naturally have an abundance of gum tissue, leading to a gummy appearance.
  • Short Teeth: If the teeth appear shorter than average, it can create an illusion of excessive gum display.
  • Hyperactive Lip Muscles: In some cases, the muscles that control the upper lip movement may be overactive, causing the lip to lift higher than usual when smiling, exposing more gum tissue.

How Gum Contouring Corrects a Gummy Smile

Gum contouring, also known as gingivectomy or gum reshaping, is a surgical procedure that involves removing and sculpting the excess gum tissue to create a more balanced and aesthetic gum line. The process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the treatment area.
  2. The dentist or periodontist carefully removes the excess gum tissue using specialized instruments or a soft tissue laser.
  3. The remaining gum tissue is contoured and reshaped to achieve the desired gum line shape and symmetry.
  4. Any necessary adjustments are made to ensure a natural-looking and harmonious smile.

Benefits of Gum Contouring for Gummy Smiles

  • Improved Smile Aesthetics: By reducing the amount of visible gum tissue, gum contouring can create a more proportionate and attractive smile.
  • Balanced Gum Line: The procedure allows for the reshaping of an uneven or irregular gum line, resulting in a more symmetrical and harmonious appearance.
  • Increased Confidence: Correcting a gummy smile can boost an individual's self-confidence and improve their overall self-esteem.

It's important to note that in some cases, gum contouring may be combined with other cosmetic dental procedures, such as crown lengthening or orthodontic treatment, to achieve the desired results. Your dentist will evaluate your specific situation and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.

Like any surgical procedure, gum contouring carries some potential risks and side effects. However, these are generally minimal and can be effectively managed with proper precautions and postoperative care. The most common risks and side effects associated with gum contouring include:

Bleeding

  • Minor Bleeding: It is normal to experience some minor bleeding immediately after the procedure, as the gum tissue has been surgically reshaped. This bleeding is typically controlled during the procedure and should subside within a few hours.
  • Excessive Bleeding: In rare cases, excessive bleeding may occur, particularly in individuals with underlying medical conditions or those taking certain medications that affect blood clotting. Your dentist will provide instructions on how to manage any prolonged bleeding.

Swelling and Discomfort

  • Swelling: Some degree of swelling in the treated area is expected after gum contouring. This swelling typically peaks within the first 24-48 hours and then gradually subsides over the following days.
  • Discomfort: You may experience some discomfort or mild pain in the treated area, especially during the first few days after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses can help alleviate this discomfort.

Infection

  • Risk of Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there is a small risk of infection in the treated area. Your dentist will provide instructions on proper oral hygiene and may prescribe antibiotics or antimicrobial mouthwashes to minimize this risk.

Sensitivity

  • Tooth Sensitivity: You may experience temporary sensitivity or discomfort in the treated teeth, particularly to hot or cold temperatures. This sensitivity typically subsides as the gum tissue heals.

Long-Term Risks

  • Gum Recession: In rare cases, excessive removal of gum tissue during the contouring procedure can lead to future gum recession, exposing the tooth roots and increasing the risk of sensitivity and decay.
  • Relapse: There is a possibility that the gum tissue may gradually regrow or reshape itself over time, potentially requiring a touch-up procedure in the future to maintain the desired results.

It is crucial to follow your dentist's postoperative instructions carefully, maintain good oral hygiene, and attend any necessary follow-up appointments to minimize the risk of complications and ensure optimal healing and long-term results.

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