We all want to have that dazzling, ultra-white smile with teeth in neat rows and healthy pink gums. But often, your gums might stand in your way to achieve that smile. Usually, people choose gum lasering to correct their uneven gum line in front of their teeth.
However, your dentist might recommend a gingivectomy if you have periodontal disease. This guide will enlighten you on what is laser gum surgery, its procedure, and whether you need it.
What is gum lasering?
Gum lasering is the surgery that removes excess gum tissues or restores receding gum. Extra gums cover your teeth and make them appear smaller, while receding gums make your teeth appear longer or bigger. Often, people undergo gum laser surgery (or gum contouring) for cosmetic purposes. However, periodontal diseases might require you to undergo gum lasering.
What about gingivectomy? The term is used to describe the surgery that involves removing excess gum tissue. You might be given local anesthesia to numb the gums while they are being operated on. Depending on the procedure’s intensity, you might feel some soreness or tenderness in your gums later.
Gum laser surgery and periodontal diseases
Periodontitis is a dental condition that is a result of prolonged bacteria accumulation on your gums and teeth. The situation worsens over time and may ruin your bones and teeth. If treated soon, periodontal diseases can be stopped and may prevent further damage.
Non-surgical methods like scaling and root planing are used to treat periodontal disease. The procedure involves deep cleaning of your teeth right to the pockets. Planing is the smoothing and re-attaching of your teeth to your gums. Scaling and root planing might take more than one session.
Your dentist might also prescribe you antibiotics and medications to get rid of the bacteria. And if nothing works, they might suggest surgery.
In case of severe infections, you need to undergo laser gum removal or gum restoration. Often, gum contouring is a part of the procedure.
Candidates for gum lasering
If you have an uneven gum line, excessive gum tissues, or receding gum tissue, you can opt for it.
Apart from cosmetic reasons, you might have to undergo gum lasering if you have periodontal disease. The moderate stage is where the pain, bleeding, and gum recession begins. The teeth lose bone support, and infection triggers an inflammatory response in your body.
The sooner you treat it, the better you can prevent damage. As soon as you spot some symptoms of periodontal disease, you should see your dentist.
For gum contouring, you will have to visit the dentist’s clinic. Typically, the dentist elaborates on the process. They give you an idea of how the new gum line would look and what will be removed.
They apply local anesthesia to the area. Then, the pockets might be reduced, or they might regenerate your damaged bone and tissue, depending on the need.
Does laser gum surgery hurt? Due to the anesthesia, you won’t feel any pain during the gum trimming. However, you may feel some numbness and tenderness afterward.
A periodontist (or gum specialist) or a general dentist can do the gum reduction surgery. However, research well on the doctor, ask them about their knowledge and experience in cosmetic surgery. The outcome depends largely on the expertise of the doctor.
Cost of gum lasering
If it is for cosmetic purposes, you will have to pay for it from your pocket. If it is recommended for medical reasons, your dental insurance may cover the costs partly.
The costs may differ depending upon the intensity of the procedure (that is, how much gum line needs to be removed or restored). Again, a specialist may cost you a little more than a general dentist. Typically, the cost can range from $50 to $350 per tooth or about $3000 for all your upper front teeth.
On the day you undergo surgery, you should take a rest and avoid unnecessary activity. Your gums might take up days or weeks to recover entirely.
Your dentist will instruct you on how to brush and take care until the gums heal. You may be prescribed Tylenol or Advil for relieving pain. However, avoid using aspirin as it can lead to bleeding.
Try pressing a cold compress or ice pack against the swelling. Do this for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce the swelling and pain.
You can eat soft food like ice cream, yogurt, and applesauce that won’t hurt your gums during the healing time. Do not eat hard, spicy foods or anything that can get stuck in your teeth.
Your dentist might schedule an appointment to check the healing and progress.
Advantages and disadvantages
As we mentioned, doctors often try out non-surgical alternatives and medications before recommending laser periodontal treatment. The surgical remedy has its own merits and demerits.
- Shortened recovery time – Undoubtedly, this is a perk since your gums are healed within a few days or weeks. The laser cauterizes as they trim, which results in faster healing.
- Highly targeted and accurate – Laser-targeting is quick and accurate. You are more likely to get desirable results.
- Less bleeding and swelling – The surgery is quick, and the bleeding and swelling are comparatively lesser than the scalpel. Lasers are less painful and lesser risks of infection.
- Local anesthesia – They give anesthesia only to the area that is to be operated on. No general anesthesia is given.
Disadvantages: are there any risks?
No surgery is free of risks. These might be the laser gum treatment side effects or the risk factors.
- Relapse of the gum tissue. The tissue might grow back.
- Allergic response to anesthesia (this is a rare occurrence).
Do I need gum laser surgery?
For cosmetic purposes, it is optional. But for periodontal disease, gum recontouring or restoration might be the last option. The dentist might go for scaling and planing. And if nothing works, laser treatment for periodontal disease is the last alternative.
If you think you have periodontal disease, get it checked. Get in touch with us today. Discuss your dental problems, and let us help you.