Gingivoplasty: Everything You Need To Know

What is gingivoplasty? Gingivoplasty is a dental process that changes the gum line for aesthetic reasons.

It helps to remove gums from areas where they’re obstructing other dental treatments. You may also go for it because you dislike how your gums look.

The goal of gingivoplasty is to reshape your gums to make them more attractive.

In this blog post, you’ll see what gingivoplasty is, the risks, and the side effects coming with treatment. I’ll also highlight how to prepare before getting treatment and how much it costs.

Let’s get right to it…

What is gingivoplasty

Gingivoplasty is a surgical procedure involving gum tissue removal. It can help increase the smile’s appearance. This is because it reveals more of your natural teeth.

The process also helps reduce swelling and pain in areas like the lower jaw (mandible).

Besides cosmetic uses, it may be also used for other oral health reasons. This may include treating periodontal diseases affecting tooth restorations or other oral conditions.

The surgery usually only takes about an hour with little recovery time in most cases.

You might feel some discomfort when getting numbed up. Other than that, you’re just sitting back for one short hour while someone does all the hard work for you.

Gingivoplasty Vs. Gingivectomy

Gingivoplasty is different than a gingivectomy because it’s mainly done for aesthetics. Gingivectomy comes in to help fight off gum diseases and correct other disorders. [1]

Compared to gingivectomy, gingivoplasty is also less invasive.

A gingivectomy removes some amount of gum tissue to heal periodontal disease. It can also help in treating abscesses in the mouth that also affect gum tissue.

Both methods take about one hour to complete. They may be also done by either a surgeon or periodontist with training in oral surgery.

Again, both processes use anesthesia which helps to numb your gum before the work begins. Other doctors, like dentists, can do the surgery too. They only need to know how to do local anesthesia without hurting your teeth or nerves.

The big difference between the two is the level of tissue surgery.

The gingivoplasty procedure

There are some general steps that you may experience during a gingivoplasty.

Your oral doctor may use a laser cutter, scalpel, or other tools to make the incisions.

The steps include:

  1. During your first consultation, the doctor will use a periodontal probe. This tool measures the depth of gum tissue above and below your teeth. If they note any problem, they may handle it using other remedies first before moving ahead.
  2. The doctor will numb your mouth with something called a topical anesthetic. Once you’re numb, he or she can do the operation on your teeth.
  3. They’ll make small incisions on either side of each tooth near its root area while it’s still in place. This is usually done through a surgical scope placed into the patient’s mouth. This prevents damage to tissues like nerves and arteries which could lead to pain later on down the road.
  4. After the cuts, they’ll remove a thin layer of the gum tissue on either side of each toot. They may also recommend removing some mass from your upper jaw to expose more gum lines. This allows enough room for your teeth when you get braces in orthodontics.
  5. Your gums will now look better due to the new uniform shape cut in place. They might also shrink since the periodontal pocket also gets cleared out.

Gingivoplasty can help make space for new devices in the mouth. That’s useful if someone has dentures or an implant, and there’s too much tissue blocking them.

You won’t need stitches for these processes because they’re closed up by sutures. Sutures dissolve within three weeks. You’ll avoid extra risks as long as you follow your doctor’s posttreatment guidelines.

The risks and side effects of gingivoplasty treatment

The risks involved are, in most cases, minimal. They include:

  • bleeding
  • swelling
  • pain
  • infection
  • redness of the gum line for a few days after surgery

But even so:

  1. Bleeding is usually light but can be more serious when using lasers to do this procedure.
  2. Swelling goes down in about 10 minutes or less. So, it shouldn’t stop you from doing your normal activities right away.
  3. Redness on the gums may last up to three weeks following gingivoplasty treatment.
  4. The least common side effects include dry mouth while healing and sensitive teeth. There might be also temporary changes in taste sensation and slight gum recession.
  5. Risks with anesthesia include nausea, vomiting, or another stomach upset. You may also experience some mild headaches during your recovery period.

The risks are pretty minimal compared to the benefits. In the long run, the process improves the quality of your life.

Benefits of gingivoplasty

Gingivoplasty is a process that can improve the quality and aesthetics of your smile. It may also help if you suffer from gum line recession or other cosmetic issues with your mouth.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Your teeth will look nicer because they’ll have more space and symmetry between them.
  • You won’t have to use as much toothpaste when brushing. This is because bacteria and plaque buildup on the gum line will decrease.
  • If you have bad breath, it may help cut root canal problems that cause halitosis.
  • Your teeth get improved protection as the gum tissue grows after the process.
  • You’ll have an easier time eating because you can chew your food with more ease and less strain on your teeth.
  • Gingivoplasty also reduces tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Such conditions may come from receding gums or periodontal disease.

Still, you should consult your dentist to see if it’s right for you.

How to prepare

It’s important to have a periodontal exam that includes x-rays. It helps when planning how much gum tissue needs to get removed during surgery. Otherwise, you could end up with more gum removal than what’s needed to fix the problem.

Also, make sure there are no fillings or crowns on any tooth near where the old gingival margins used to exist. When you cut away excess gum tissue, the objects may get stuck at times. This is because it’s very difficult to see them with your naked eyes. If it happens, you can get an accidental injury.

After that, it’s important to ensure there are no loose dentures or bridges in your mouth. This is because they can cause injury. They can as well set off more gum tissue removal than what was actually needed for the repair work.

Next, you’ll want to trim the hair around the lower lip area. This prevents hair from going through when placing gauze pads. Otherwise, hair contact with the wound could raise the risk of getting an infection.

Cost of Gingivoplasty

When it comes to gingivoplasty, the cost will depend on a few things.

These include your location and how much work needs to get done. Some of these procedures can also take place in phases or intervals. It means you might need to come up with more money at different times. This is all through as your mouth heals and as you move forward with treatment.

Also, the cost depends on whether the process requires anesthesia and sedation. You may end up spending more when your process requires either of the two.

Adding to that, it can also be somehow time-consuming due to recovery times afterward. The length of your stay in the hospital following surgery will depend on the scale of your surgery.

On average, gingivoplasty can cost you anywhere between $600 – $2000+.

What comes after treatment

So, what should you expect after going through with a gingivoplasty?

  1. Recovery time varies from person to person. But all in all, most people cannot resume their regular diet the day after surgery.
  2. Take pain medication as prescribed by your doctor. Also, be sure not to smoke or drink alcohol while recovering from your surgery. Doing so can also bring infections or slow down your healing.
  3. Avoid chewing hard foods for at least two weeks after the treatment. This is because they can cause gum bleeding that may lead to infections if not contained. Use softer meals that won’t hurt your exposed gums. In most parts, you’ll need a lot of fluid diet for the greater part of your recovery.
  4. It’s important to follow aftercare instructions given by your dentist. This is because this will ensure a quick, painless recovery. It may take up to 3 weeks for your gums to heal. There should be no visible signs of surgery after that time.
  5. Don’t get trapped thinking that you can now brush your teeth more often after a gingivoplasty. Overbrushing will only irritate sensitive tissues and make oral hygiene difficult!

Important: Avoid eating anything solid until at least 4 hours after surgery. This is since there’s a chance of choking when being under anesthesia which could prove fatal.

Finding the best doctor

It’s important to consider the fees that come when going for a specific doctor. More important, also look at patient satisfaction and education when choosing a doctor.

Some tools that make this easier include:

  1. Find A Periodontistsearch tool made by the AAP (American Academy of Periodontology). It helps you get a professional periodontist near you.
  2. Find a Local Cosmetic Dentist by AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry). This tool can help you find a cosmetic dentist around your area

Summary

The recovery time and cost of gingivoplasty can vary from person to person. Still, when done right, the process will leave you with a more beautiful set of whites.

Follow the aftercare guideline given by your dentist. It will ensure a quick, pain-free recovery.

Remember that your smile doesn’t stop with tooth whitening or implants. Ensure you do everything to keep those pearly whites shining. Take care of all angles of your oral health!

To brighter smiles!

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