Dental Procedures

Gum Sculpting

What is Gum Sculpting?

Dr. Krauss, a well known Bakersfield Cosmetic Dentist, has had a great amount of experience in gum sculpting, also popularly known as gum shaping, contouring or re-contouring. Below, Dr. Krauss explains the procedures and treatments involved. Learn about the experiences of his patients who have received veneers and a gum re-shaping makeover.

Gum Sculpting is a simple process that more Bakersfield cosmetic dentists are performing. Healthy, well-contoured, pink gum tissue compliments and frames the teeth. The esthetic framing of the gum tissue is as important to the teeth as a quality frame is to a painting. Gum tissue that is red and swollen, and unsymmetrical in appearance detracts from teeth that are otherwise healthy.

Gum Sculpting Makes Gums Healthy

The first order of business is to return the tissue to a healthy state. That is to reduce any inflammation and get the tissue tight and pink. Once that is achieved, you evaluate the contours of the tissue.

When you look at an attractive smile you not only see beautiful teeth but also gum tissue that is symmetrically draped around each tooth. The edge of the gum tissue (gingival margins) should be at the same height for the two front teeth and the two canines. Gum Sculpting can accomplish this.

The gingival margin of the two lateral incisors, which are next to the front teeth, should be about 1 to 1 1/2 millimeters lower than the other teeth. Now we know what is normal gum tissue.

What can cosmetic dentistry do about tissue with poor contours?

A common problem is unsymmetrical gum tissue. By that I mean the gingival margins are not at an esthetic position (notice the differences in the height of the gum line in the two pictures). The gum tissue could be lower on one front tooth and not the other, thereby; creating the appearance that one tooth is longer than the other.

Another perfect gum sculpting patient (as in the adjacent photo) would be that the gingival margins of all the teeth are at the same height or the teeth appear to be too short. Then there is the gummy smile. When an individual smiles, they show too much gum tissue.

How are these problems corrected?

Sometimes all that may be required is to surgically contour the gum tissue to a more aesthetically balanced appearance. This is called a simple cosmetic gum lift. I perform this procedure utilizing a laser and only a topical anesthetic (no needles). The tissue heals very quickly with very little discomfort.

Of course, there are times when contouring the tissue alone is not enough. In those circumstances the bone at the front of the root may have to be reduced.

This is done because the gingival margins need to be about 3 millimeters from the edge of the bone. If you don’t reduce the bone the tissue will grow back. This procedure, while more invasive than a simple gum lift, is still relatively comfortable when done properly.

The cosmetic gum lift is a remarkably simple cosmetic procedure that can make a tremendous difference to one’s smile. Contact Dr. Krauss to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure.

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Over 20 years of Cosmetic Dentistry and 15 years serving Bakersfield, California, Dr. Krauss has performed thousands of complete smile restorations. He helps patients make the best decisions for their smiles and oral health by sharing his expertise.