Many people have what is commonly known as a 'Gummy Smile'. They reveal an excessive amount of gum tissue when smiling. As a result, they are very self conscious to the point that they choose not to smile at all, or to smile unnaturally with their lips together. Ideally when smiling, the upper lip should rest comfortably along the curve where the teeth meet the gums, so that just a small amount of gum tissue is revealed. Gummy Smiles vary in severity, and the treatment depends on how much extra gum tissue is visible.
There are 4 procedures that are currently used to correct a Gummy Smile.:
1. SIMPLE GUM LIFT
This procedure known as a gingivectomy, involves removal of the excess gum tissue using a Laser or scalpel. It is done with local anesthetic and is quick and painless. Sutures are often not needed and healing is complete within 2 weeks. It is the treatment of choice when the gummy smile is mild and if the gum tissue has grown over the crown of the tooth.
2. CROWN LENGTHENING SURGERY
This procedure known as periodontal osseous surgery, involves raising a flap of gum tissue exposing the underlying bone of the involved teeth. This bone is then recontoured revealing more of the actual tooth itself. The gum tissue is then sutured back into its new position. This procedure is done using a Laser and a scalpel. It is done with local anesthetic and is quick and painless. Veneers can be placed 4 - 6 weeks later to achieve that beautiful Hollywood smile although veneers are not always necessary.
3. LIP LOWERING SURGERY
This procedure known as hypermobile lip surgery involves releasing the attachment of the upper lip and the gum tissue, thereby allowing the upper lip to rest in a more natural position. These incisions are made inside your mouth and do not touch the upper lip at all. It is done with local anesthetic and is quick and painless. This procedure controls how high the upper lip lifts when you smile and does not affect the appearance of the lip.
4. JAW SURGERY
This procedure known as orthognathic osteotomy surgery involves performing very carefully controlled bony cuts in the upper jaw or maxilla. It is performed by a Maxillofacial Surgeon and is a treatment only for the most severe cases.
When a Smile Makeover is being considered to give you that beautiful Hollywood Smile, it is essential to evaluate the relationship between your upper teeth and your gums. This must be done in conjunction with the evaluation of the colour, shape, and positioning of your teeth in order to achieve the best possible result.
The case below shows the Before and After treatment of a Simple Gum Lift. This patient, who happens to be one of my receptionists, had been extremely self conscious of her 'Gummy Smile' for as long as she could remember. The procedure took 45 minutes from beginning to end, and she was back to work that very same day. The following is an excerpt from our Facebook page:
"Dr. Kaplansky, I can't thank you enough. This is something I always thought of doing but never did and thanks to you taking the time to explain the procedure to me and how it would make a huge difference I am sooooo glad I went ahead with it. It was completely painless and I am so so so happy. I used to be so self concious of my "gummy" smile, as you know from our staff photo's you would always tell me to show my teeth when I smiled and I never wanted to and now all I want to do is show off my NEW SMILE. Thank you Thank you, I couldn't be more happy."
'Gummy Smiles' affect both men and women and although women generally are more self conscious of their smiles, many men seek this treatment as well. The case below shows the Before and After treatment of a 24 year old male with a more advanced 'gummy smile'. Crown lengthening surgery was performed utilizing just a scalpel and sutures. It was done under local anesthetic and took 60 minutes to complete. The After photo was taken 2 weeks after the surgery and the patient was extremely happy with the results.
The use of Laser Surgery allows for a completely blood-free procedure and the healing is exceptionally quick. Don't let the word 'Laser' scare you in any way. The laser that we use is actually quite tiny. The machine itself is about the size of a large mug, and the instrument that is attached to it and that I use is the size of a ballpoint pen. The surgery is often covered by dental insurance plans and is a very routine procedure with consistent results. Ask your dentist if you are a good candidate for this procedure so that you too can flash your new smile with confidence!!!