Smiles by Payet Dentistry – Beautiful Smiles. Lifetime Care

Family, Laser, and Cosmetic Dentistry by Charlotte dentist Dr. Payet.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Charlotte: Correcting a Gummy Smile with a “Gum Lift”

Smile Makeovers can take many shapes and forms, and it is so important IMO for a dentist to be fully informed and trained on DIAGNOSING all kinds of smile problems and knowing the APPROPRIATE recommendations to make, because if an improper diagnosis is made, then the wrong treatment can easily be chosen, which will only result in a less-than-satisfactory result and an unhappy patient.  Here’s a perfect example:

Mia first came to my office in March of 2007 to ask if Porcelain Veneers could give her the smile she’d always wanted.  Her complaint was that her teeth were too short and square, and she hoped that veneers could make them longer.  However, the problem was NOT that her teeth were too short; the problem was that she had too much gum COVERING her teeth, making them appear shorter than they really were.

Mia’s Smile Before

Smile Makeover to Correct a Gummy Smile - BEFORE picture

Smile Makeover to Correct a Gummy Smile - BEFORE picture

As it turns out, Mia also had old dental crowns and bridges that were in need of replacement.  Unfortunately, the dentist who had placed them 20 years ago did not recognize the excess gum problem (turns out there was also excess bone covering the teeth, but you probably don’t want to see the surgical photos, right? 😉  ), and so he placed the edges of the crowns and bridges too far under the gum, resulting in chronic gum irritation.  The human body simply does not like it if you put dental materials (gold, amalgam, porcelain, composite resin, doesn’t matter) too close to the bone and too far under the gum, so the gums get irritated and will always bleed when brushing and flossing, sometimes even just to the touch.  We’re replacing the existing dental work over time, but we were able to do the right side work at the same time as the “Cosmetic Gum Lift,” which really made a big improvement.  (When looking at the photos, it’s on the left side of the pictures.)

So after plenty of consultation, Mia decided to go with the corrective gum surgery.  The technical name for this is “Esthetic Crown Lengthening,” which simply means that we are making the teeth look prettier (esthetic) by making them look longer.  She told us beforehand that she felt very nervous, but afterwards said that it was much easier and  less uncomfortable than she’d expected, and her healing was much easier than she’d thought.  Usually the only discomfort is some gum soreness, really.

Mia’s Smile After

Mia tells us she is simply THRILLED with her smile now, and it’s easy to see why!

Smile Makeover to Correct a Gummy Smile - AFTER picture

Smile Makeover to Correct a Gummy Smile - AFTER picture

And for Mia, one of the best parts of the whole treatment was that we were able to do everything right here at Smiles by Payet Dentistry, with no need to refer her to a specialist.  I really loved giving Mia the smile that she’d always wanted, with no unnecessary drilling for porcelain veneers that would not have solved her problem in the first place.  We did also replace her old crowns and bridge on the upper right, and with the excess gum tissue removed there, too, now she has no problems keeping the area clean, and her gums don’t bleed when she brushes or flossing.  Next will be the upper left side.

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July 13, 2009 Posted by | Dental bridges, Esthetic crown lengthening, General dentistry, Gum lift, Gummy smile, Porcelain Veneers, Porcelain-and-metal crowns, Smile Makeover | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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