Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty (Gum Removal)

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My gums have become loose and larger than normal. What's wrong? 


Healthy gums, tight against the necks of the teeth, are an important part of a beautiful smile. But sometimes, a problem like this can develop. As the gums extend onto the front surface of the teeth, the natural balance between the length of the teeth and the height of the gums was lost. Your dentist will probably recommend a gingivectomy procedure to reduce your gums.


What is a gingivectomy and what does it entail? 


The first step in a gingivectomy, or gum-removal procedure, is making sure that all of the involved areas are completely numb with a local anesthetic. Your dentist then carefully makes a small incision and removes the excess gum tissue. After removing the gum tissue, the doctor will put a temporary putty-like substance over your gum line. This will protect your gums while they heal. You can eat soft foods and drink cool or slightly warm liquids while the putty is in place and your gums are healing.


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What is a gingivoplasty? 


Gingivoplasty is a procedure in which we surgically reshape and re-contour the gum tissue for cosmetic, physiological, or functional purposes. Gingivoplasty is the surgical reshaping of the outer surface of the gums and it's usually done in combination with gingivectomy. Many patients have a gummy smile which is caused by excessive and overgrown gum tissue. Excess gum tissue can usually be removed to reveal a beautiful smile underneath.

How is a gingivoplasty done? 


After a gingivectomy procedure, the gingivoplasty procedure thins the remaining gums tissue so the tissue looks natural and pleasing. It's done this using an electrosurgery unit or a soft tissue laser. The electrosurgery unit uses electricity to cut the gum tissues and at the same time, causes the gum tissues to clot and stop bleeding. 


It sounds like one and the same. What is the difference between a gingivoplasty and a typical gingivectomy procedure? 


Gingivoplasty corrects the remaining thick and unnaturally shaped gum tissue left after the gingivectomy procedure exposes the hidden teeth. Natural gum tissue thins as it approaches and surrounds teeth. The two procedures are almost always used at the same time. These procedures can also be used to reshape irregularly shaped and unattractive gums.


How long do the effects of a gingivectomy take to heal? 


A couple of weeks after the gum removal procedure, the area will be completely healed.


Will I be able to see the results of my gingivectomy right away? 


Once your gum removal surgery has healed, you should notice how much more natural this area looks.


I have periodontitis (severe gum disease). Why has my dentist recommended a gingivectomy? 


You may need surgery for severe gum disease (periodontitis) if it cannot be cured with antibiotics or root planing and scaling. A gingivectomy removes and reshapes loose, diseased gum tissue to get rid of pockets between the teeth and gums.

It sounds painful. Is it safe?


Gingivectomy and gingivoplasty procedures are usually done with local anesthetics. The electrosurgery equipment minimizes bleeding and most patients experience very little post operative pain after the procedure. A gingivectomy is a safe and predictable way to remove excess gum tissue and improve the natural appearance of your smile.


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Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Europe, Asia, & the Mideast. Regional patients travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont, Midland, El Paso, Brownsville & Fort Worth Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic denistry services. 
For any other questions related to cosmetic dentistry, you can Contact Us at 713.795.5905, visit our Dental Blog or Ask the Dentist.

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