Dental & Implant Centre in West Byfleet, Surrey
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Gum Contouring & Teeth Reshaping

Gum Contouring

If your gums sit too low or too high on your teeth and you are unhappy with your smile, you may be a candidate for gum contouring surgery. Also called gum reshaping or tissue sculpting, this procedure can even out an uneven gum line and give you a smile you can be proud of.

What Causes Uneven Gums?

Your gums can be too low or too high for a number of reasons. Gums that cover a large portion of your teeth can make them look small, and this could be the result of genetics, a particular health problem, or taking certain prescription medicines.

Gums that are too high and make your teeth appear long are often caused by gingival recession, a condition in which gum tissue pulls back from a tooth and exposes the tooth’s root. Not only can gum recession make your teeth look long, it can lead to serious dental problems such as decay and tooth loss. Gum recession may also be a sign of periodontal disease, the deterioration of the supporting structures of the teeth (gums and bone).

Gum Contouring Surgery: Is It Necessary?

Gum contouring alone is considered a cosmetic procedure – most people have their gums reshaped to improve the appearance of their smile. Most of the time it is not medically necessary. Some people undergo gum contouring surgery as part of other necessary periodontal procedures such as crown lengthening, pocket reduction and regenerative procedures.

Gum Contouring: What to Expect

Gum contouring surgery may be performed in general practice. A local anaesthetic will be applied to numb the area and, sometimes, bone at the front of the tooth’s root must also be removed to get the best long-term results.

Gum Contouring: Recovery

Immediately after your surgery you should rest and limit your activities. It may take a few days or weeks for your gums to heal completely, but we will direct you in what you need to do to aid the recovery process. Here are some general tips to get you through this time:

  • Ease pain and inflammation by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Paracetemol or Ibuprofen, as directed by your dentist. Do not take aspirin as this can cause bleeding.
  • For the first few days after surgery, eat soft, cool foods such as eggs, pasta, yogurt, soft vegetables and ice cream. Avoid spicy foods and anything with seeds in until your gums have healed completely.
  • Follow our directions on when and how to brush your teeth during the healing process.

Tooth Contouring & Reshaping

What is tooth contouring and reshaping?

Tooth reshaping, or contouring, is one of few instant treatments now available in cosmetic dentistry. Dental reshaping and contouring is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth or even overlapping teeth in just one session. Under certain circumstances the dental contouring procedure can be a substitute for braces, and is a procedure of subtle changes. A few millimeters of reduction and a few millimeters of tooth-coloured composite can create a beautiful smile when performed by a cosmetic dentist, with no discomfort to you. Tooth reshaping, or dental contouring, is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of your teeth.

Who is a candidate for tooth contouring and reshaping?

Tooth reshaping might be a suitable treatment for you if you want your teeth to appear less crowded, without chips or fractures or without pits and grooves in the enamel. A little dental contouring can often make a huge difference in the appearance of your smile. Tooth reshaping, or sculpting, is a safe and conservative way to improve your smile. Teeth may become weaker if large amounts of enamel are removed, and tooth reshaping should be limited to minor changes or combined with veneers or bonding for the best smile.

How is tooth contouring and reshaping accomplished?

Preparation for dental contouring and reshaping is a team effort with your cosmetic dentist. We will take x-rays to evaluate the health of each tooth, and discuss how you would like the final result to look and advise on how effective the procedure will be for you. We may mark your teeth with a pencil prior to performing the procedure. As we sculpt the tooth, imperfections are artfully eliminated or minimized. A sanding drill or laser may be used to gradually remove small amounts of surface enamel. We then move abrasive strips back and forth between your teeth to shape their sides, before the teeth are smoothed and polished. Usually anaesthetic is not needed. Teeth contouring and reshaping usually takes one to two visits. Contouring teeth may also help correct small problems with bite. It is common for Bonding to be combined with tooth reshaping to achieve a beautiful smile, and sometimes combined with Veneers. These various procedures are often combined in different ways to give you the smile of your dreams.

Pros and Cons of tooth contouring and reshaping

Advantages:
Only a small amount of tooth enamel is removed, contouring your problem tooth into a more pleasing shape for an improved smile. The contouring procedure is quick, simple, painless and inexpensive.

Disadvantages:
You may be at risk for tooth breakage and decay if too much enamel is removed from your teeth. If your teeth were uneven because you grind them, they’ll become uneven again until the grinding issue is resolved.