Just like your teeth, your gums play an important role in the appearance of your smile. When gums are overly-large, they can make teeth appear dwarfed or crowded, and even make the lips protrude in unbecoming ways. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your gums or the impact they are having on your smile, Austin cosmetic dentist Dr. John Schmid can help. With a laser gum sculpting procedure, Dr. Schmid can produce a look that is symmetrical and attractive, helping to enhance the overall appearance of your smile for a lifetime.
Laser Gum Contouring
Dr. Schmid uses a soft tissue laser to produce optimally contoured gum lines. The use of a laser for this procedure offers several advantages. Among these are:
- Reduced risks of bleeding and infection
- Higher rate of precision and accuracy
- Shorter treatment period
- Little to no recovery period
Laser gum recontouring is a painless procedure that can be completed in a single office visit. If you are concerned about comfort, however, Dr. Schmid will happily discuss your sedation options to help ensure you remain comfortable during all stages of your gum contouring procedure.
Why Treat a Gummy Smile?
Gum contouring is typically done for cosmetic purposes, but it may also be necessary for oral health in some cases. Crown lengthening and pocket reduction procedures can help reduce risks for certain serious oral health problems and may be important for your general dental health. These things will be discussed as needed during your routine visits to our office or as part of your smile makeover treatment.
To learn more about gum contouring, please call our experienced Austin cosmetic dentist at 512-329-5967 today. Dr. Schmid offers personalized cosmetic, general, and restorative treatments to men and women living in Austin, Round Rock, and all surrounding areas of Texas.
What should I expect at my Laser Gum Contouring consultation?
When you arrive at the office for your consultation, the staff may have you fill out a few forms. You may be asked to write down any medications you are currently taking and provide information about your medical history, including previous dental treatments and surgeries.
A dental professional may take some x-rays so the doctor can evaluate the structure of your jawbone and teeth. After sitting and talking about your concerns and reasons for seeking laser gum contouring, Dr. Schmid will also perform a comprehensive dental exam. If the examination reveals any other dental problems, treatment for them will be discussed.
If you are a good candidate for laser gum contouring, Dr. Schmid will develop a personalized treatment plan based on your oral structure, any existing dental problems, and desired outcome.
How is a Laser Gum Contouring procedure performed?
Before beginning the gum contouring procedure, the dentist checks to make sure the treatment area is sufficiently numb. The staff and the patient may put on protective goggles as a precaution against laser light.
The dentist may mark the gums with a surgical pen to indicate where gums should rest. The laser is moved carefully across the gums to obliterate small portions of tissue. If minor bleeding occurs, it is cleaned immediately to maintain a clear, sterile surgical site.
Does Laser Gum Contouring require anesthesia?
The doctor administers local numbing medication in the form of minor injections before commencing with the gum contouring procedure. Nervous patients may choose to take a sedative about an hour before treatment begins.
Even with sedation, patients can expect to remain awake and alert enough to communicate with the dentist. Anesthesia and sedation work together to make laser gum contouring a comfortable, stress-free experience.
How long does a Laser Gum contouring procedure take?
Laser gum contouring treatment is performed carefully to achieve the best cosmetic outcome. Including check-in and anesthesia, patients may be in the office for 1 to 2 hours.
What is the recovery process like after a Laser Gum Contouring procedure?
Laser gum contouring is gentler than traditional gum surgeries using a scalpel. However, expect some soreness or tenderness once the anesthetic wears off. Discomfort after laser gum contouring is influenced by your pain threshold as well as how much tissue the dentist removed.
To address soreness or other pain, you may take an over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen. Avoid aspiring; this can increase bleeding. Comfort may also improve with a cold compress applied for 15 to 20 at a time. While recovery is expected to be short and straightforward, patients would do well to go home after their appointment and take it easy for the remainder of the day. Some activities, such as strenuous exercise, should be avoided for a day or two.
You may also be encouraged to eat soft foods for a few days. Doing so minimizes disruption to the gums that could exacerbate tenderness. Soft foods to eat after laser gum contouring include eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, soup, and applesauce. Expect to have a post-treatment follow-up about one week after your gum contouring procedure.
What are the risks of a Laser Gum Contouring procedure?
The laser technology utilized to reshape the gums is very safe. The likelihood of experiencing complications during or after the procedure is extremely low. The potential risks that patients should be aware of include adverse reaction to anesthesia and gradual regrowth of gingival tissue.
If you’ve had a filling, you’ve already had dental anesthesia and can expect to be fine. If you choose to also include oral conscious sedation in your treatment plan, you can trust that the doctor will select the most appropriate, mild sedative for your situation.
- "Dr. Schmid is excellent! He, Bobbie and the team of Hygienists have treated me so well. I would recommend them to anyone over and over again!" - D.J.
- "When I initially went to see Dr. Schmid and his team I was having a dental nightmare. With Dr. Schmid I could tell right away that I was in the right place for my extraordinary needs; professional, friendly, exceptionally talented and many other characteristics of this practice is what has kept me going back for all of my dental needs." - T.L.
- "Dr. Schmid has been my dentist since 2005 and my smile is now complemented almost daily, rather than me trying to hide it. Dr Schmid listened to what I wanted my smile to look like, and he exceed my expectations. His eye for detail and skilled work gave me the confidence I needed and allowed me to learn how to smile again. You could not be in better hands with Dr Schmid. 5 STARS!" - C.B.
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