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A stunning smile comprises beautiful gums just as much as healthy teeth—unfortunately, concerns with one can adversely affect the other. Excess gum tissue that appears thick or overabundant can obscure the body of a tooth, making it look short and causing disproportion in your smile. Dr Clarence Tam and our dental team understands that beautiful teeth can sometimes be overshadowed by a dominating gumline. Our cosmetic dentists can use innovative laser dentistry techniques to improve your gum-to-teeth ratio and breathe new life into your smile.

What is Laser Gum Recontouring?

Laser gum reshaping is designed to create more proportion between your gums and teeth, enhancing symmetry in your smile. During treatment, your cosmetic dentist uses a special laser to gently trim away excess tissue and reshape the gumline. This can make your teeth appear longer and create a precise, even contour. Laser gum resculpting improves upon traditional methods of gum reshaping, which required manual excision of the gum tissue. Often, laser gum/gingival recontouring is a key part of comprehensive smile design, where the proportions of the anterior (front) teeth are made to look more balanced and in harmony with your smile.

Laser gum recontouring can also be helpful in cases where a tooth is too broken or decayed to support a dental crown. Commonly referred to as crown lengthening, this technique can reduce the bone and gum tissue where necessary to reveal more of the tooth structure and create a better fit for a dental crown. If you require crown lengthening to restore a damaged tooth, Dr Tam will explain how laser gum recontouring can complement your dental crown treatment in person.

How Can Laser Gum Recontouring Improve My Smile?

A disproportionate gumline can cause an imbalance in your dentition, often making the teeth seem shorter than they actually are. Laser gum recontouring can rejuvenate your smile by:

  • Increasing tooth-show
  • Achieving a more proportionate smile
  • Creating an even, symmetrical gumline
  • Improving contours around implant crowns
  • Decreasing a gummy smile based on proportion analysis via Digital Smile Design

Simply put, laser gum recontouring is a knife-free and virtually painless approach to gum reshaping. If prominent gums are distracting from your teeth, speak to our dental team about how this innovative cosmetic dentistry procedure can be performed to enhance your smile and facial appearance.

Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Gum Recontouring?

Some of the most significant benefits of laser gum reshaping include the ability to recontour the gums without surgery or general anesthesia, making treatment accessible to a wider range of patients bothered by a gummy smile. Our dental team will listen carefully to your goals to determine whether you would benefit from laser dentistry, but in general, laser gum reshaping is most successful for individuals who:

  • Have good oral health with no signs of gum disease
  • Want to improve the look of a disproportionate or dominating gumline
  • Desire a more symmetrical smile
  • Are interested in improving their gum-to-tooth ratio

For more severe concerns, laser gum recontouring treatment alone may not be enough to achieve your goals. In some cases, the bony crest may also need to be altered to obtain a more stable result — particularly in situations where the new gum position sits too close to the bone, violating a critical dimension called “biologic width.” For enhanced stability, both the positions of the gum and bone may need to be modified in more “extreme” situations.

Teeth that appear short or worn — whether due to disproportionate gums or bruxism (teeth grinding) — can also give your smile an aged look. In these cases, minimally invasive solutions like porcelain veneers can help your teeth look more full and youthful. Dr Tam and our team would be happy to create the best possible treatment plan for you based on your goals.

How is Laser Gum Recontouring Performed?

Reshaping the gums with laser dentistry can be a much more comfortable treatment experience than traditional cutting or excision techniques. A numbing agent is sometimes utilized upon patient preference, but general anesthesia isn’t necessary. Using an advanced dental laser, your cosmetic dentist gently targets excess gum tissue. Without making any physical contact, the laser recontours the gumline to expose more of your natural tooth. This can refine the gums and create more proportion, effectively offsetting a gummy smile.

What is Recovery From Laser Gum Recontouring Like?

The gums may feel tender or sore after laser gum recontouring, but there is usually no recovery period necessary. Thanks to the minimally invasive nature of laser dentistry and the healing capabilities of the gum tissue, any discomfort should fade soon after treatment. Patients typically return to their normal routines immediately after laser gum reshaping.

How Long Will Results From Gummy Smile Treatment Last?

The outcome of gummy smile treatment with laser dentistry should remain stable as long as patients take good care of their teeth and practice strong oral hygiene habits. Bacteria buildup and decay can cause the gums to deteriorate, potentially damaging your oral health in addition to altering the results of the laser gum reshaping procedure. While some degree of gum recession as you age is considered natural, your smile should always look more proportionate and symmetrical than it would if you had never received treatment. In general, patients enjoy the results of their laser dentistry treatment for many years, even decades.

How Much Does Gummy Smile Treatment Cost?

The cost of laser dentistry and laser gum reshaping depends on your needs and the exact details of your treatment plan. While a cosmetic treatment like laser gum recontouring is not usually covered by dental insurance, our Auckland practice accepts dental financing from qualified patients. We welcome you to ask our office about our flexible payment options, and to view our standard pricing list for more information. Please remember that a personalized quote will be provided for each person based on the techniques utilized during their treatment, and costs can vary from patient to patient.

Treating Herpetic Lesions with Laser Dentistry

If you have ever had a cold sore or fever blister, you may feel a sense of dread upon the familiar tingling feeling that signifies the onset of a breakout. Among the many applications of laser therapy is the ability to treat herpetic lesions faster and more effectively than ever! While these lesions typically take a couple of weeks to resolve naturally, the light-focused energy in our dental lasers can heal cold sores in as little as 48 hours. If you feel a lesion coming on, Dr Tam can use laser therapy to disinfect the sore and reduce swelling, bringing you virtually immediate relief from fever blisters faster than over-the-counter medications. Plus, lesions treated with laser dentistry are less likely to appear in the same spot in the event of future breakouts. Call our Auckland practice to learn more about how laser dentistry can treat herpetic sores and help restore your oral wellness.

Ready to renew your smile? Contact Tam Dental Group for more information about laser dentistry, or to schedule a consultation.