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Gum Contouring: Is It Worth It? Your Questions Answered

big smile with white teeth

A beautiful smile is more than just the condition of your teeth or how white they look. Granted, healthy teeth are important. But healthy gums are just as essential. In fact, gums are literally the foundation of great dental health. Not only do gums support your teeth, but they also have a huge impact on how your smile looks.

Receding gums — gums resting high on your teeth — will negatively affect how your smile looks. This condition can also lead to more serious gum disease, which in severe cases can even lead to tooth loss.

But gum contouring can help. This cosmetic dentistry procedure can not only improve the appearance of your smile, but help prevent more serious gum disease.

What is Gum Contouring?

This is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that reshapes the gums. A cosmetic dentist removes or adds tissue to your gum line to help shape your smile. This improves the symmetry of your smile, and it’s great for gum health.

Gum contouring can be done on its own, or it can be combined with other cosmetic dentistry techniques to give you a complete smile makeover. Talk to your family dentist about your dental ambitions. He or she can develop the right plan for you.

The Details of a Gum Contouring Procedure

First, your dentist will carefully assess your gums to determine the best approach for reshaping. Sometimes gum tissue is removed; other times it is added from skin grafted from the roof of your mouth, for example. Excess gum tissue can be removed either using an incising instrument or laser.

Does It Hurt?

Like any other complex dental procedure, you’ll be numbed throughout the entire process. Other than the initial pinch when the Novocain is applied, you shouldn’t feel a thing. If you are uncomfortable at any time during the procedure, tell your dentist. He or she can adjust the pain medication accordingly.

More complex gum contouring procedures may require deep sedation where you are either completely knocked out or are not consciously aware when it happens.

Is Gum Contouring Covered by Insurance?

That depends on your insurance plan — and whether the procedure is cosmetic or medical. We had mentioned this is often considered cosmetic dentistry. This is the case when it is done to improve the looks of the smile. But we also mentioned this procedure can be very important to gum health. If you get gum contouring to ward off gum disease, your insurance company may consider it to be a medical procedure, especially if your dentist advocates for it.

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