Modern dental technology has made huge strides over the past several years. One of those involves the use of lasers in dental procedures. Thanks to laser technology, many procedures that were once time-consuming, invasive, and required significant recovery periods can now be completed quickly and allow the patient to heal in a much shorter period of time. This is particularly true when it comes to lasers and gum contouring procedures. Gum contouring involves reshaping and removal of gum tissue for either cosmetic or medical reasons, for example:
- “Gummy smiles” — There are some dental patients whose gum tissue extends too far down on the tooth surface. This can result in what is referred to as a “gummy smile.” In a gum contouring procedure, this excess gum tissue is removed, leaving more of the tooth surface exposed.
- Periodontal issues – When the patient has a gingival infection or periodontal disease related to inconsistencies in the gums, removal of that tissue may help to treat the problem.
- Impacted wisdom teeth – Patients with teeth that have not fully erupted through the gum tissue, which is common with wisdom teeth, may benefit from gum contouring.
- Excess frenum tissue – Some people have excess gum tissue in the area of the mouth where the gums connect to the upper lip. Gum contouring is often the best way to remove this excess tissue.
Using traditional methods, a dentist would make incisions to remove gum tissue. This involved an invasive technique that resulted in much longer healing time for the patient. But thanks to laser technology, dentists can now remove tissue with much less trauma to the gums, no need for sutures, and a markedly shorter recovery period for the patient.
Gum contouring is performed using a diode laser. This tool quickly and precisely removes soft layers of gum tissue. Most patients experience little or no discomfort during the procedure, which is completed in a relatively short period of time, requiring just a single trip to the dentist office. Bleeding is reduced, thanks to use of a laser, and sutures are usually not needed after the procedure. While it is necessary for the patient to follow the dentist’s instructions while recovering after the procedure, the healing time is significantly shorter than it would be after traditional gum contouring procedures.
To find out if you might benefit from gum contouring, and to learn more about the use of lasers in this procedure, talk to your dentist.