Gummy Smile Surgery
A gummy smile surgery (gingivectomy) can be helpful for patients who have too much gum tissue showing when they smile. The patient may appear to have excessive gum tissue or overly small teeth. In either case, this outpatient surgical procedure is often effective for improving the aesthetic appearance of the smile, and thereby the self-esteem of the patient. The average cost of this safe plastic surgery varies between $300-$8,000, depending on various factors specific to each patient.
Gummy Smile Surgery
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
Gummy smile surgery is an option for enhancing the smiles of people who have excessive gum tissue in the mouth, especially on the front teeth. When they smile, they may appear to have either small teeth or an unattractive volume of gum tissue that covers the teeth excessively. This procedure involves the use of localized anesthesia and IV sedative drugs. Most patients do not need general anesthesia to receive this outpatient surgery. During the procedure, the doctor will cut into the gum area to reshape its appearance. If soft tissue needs to be removed in spots, a laser is used to do so safely and with minimal bleeding. The soft tissue laser cauterizes the wounds so that no sutures are needed. Most patients report this procedure to be very quick and relatively painless. Gummy smile surgery also typically involves reshaping some of the underlying jaw bone. This safe procedure causes very little downtime in most patients. Recovery is fast, typically requiring less than a week for most patients. The cost for the procedure can be as high as $8,000, based on several patient-specific variables.
The goal of gummy smile surgery is to improve the aesthetics of the smile by repositioning the gum line on the teeth.
What to Expect
A gummy smile surgery reduces the amount of gum showing when a patient smiles. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after gummy smile surgery.
- Local anesthesia
- Gums cut to reshape the appearance
- Soft tissue removed if needed
- Reshaping some of the underlying jaw bone
Immediately After Treatment
- Bleeding and swelling for first 48 hours
- Swelling and discomfort
Recovery from a gummy smile surgery will require eating a soft food diet for 7-10 days. Patients will need to be careful when brushing their teeth to not aggravate the gums. Cool compresses and prescribed pain medication should be used as needed to control discomfort and swelling. Complete healing of the gums can take up to three months.
The ideal candidate for a gummy smile surgery will not have prior restoration to their teeth e.g. crowns or veneers as it can affect the overall aesthetics of the procedure such as color. However, a gum lift can still be performed on patients who have had prior restoration work done.
Not Recommended For
Gummy smile surgery is not recommended for patients whose condition of the tooth root is not substantial enough to support exposing more of the tooth which could compromise the structure.
Side effects of gummy smile surgery may include pain and the risk of causing teeth to loosen over time. In addition, tooth root exposure can cause the teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.