Gingivectomy is a minor surgical procedure in dentistry that patients opt for to modify their gums. You can get it for a cosmetic purpose or due to health issues, in both cases, the procedure can be quite a success.
We all know now that multiple principles contribute to a perfect smile. It is not all about having clean teeth. From the alignment to the shade and shape of your teeth as well as the gums; these are all factors that influence how your smile looks.
But when it comes to the gums specifically, inflammation and a gummy smile can take from the charm of your smile. In the following article we will talk about gingivectomy and what you can expect from it.
What is gingivectomy?
Gingivectomy is a micro-surgical procedure or in other words, a non-invasive practice, that can modify the gums. Gum tissue, or gingiva, is the main target of the practice and your doctor can surgically remove it during a gingivectomy. Conditions like gingivitis which is the inflammation of the gums and other disorders can go away with gingivectomy.
Additionally, it is utilized to modify smiles by removing excess gum tissue for aesthetic purposes.
Continue reading to find out more about the procedure’s steps, potential costs, and post-procedure care.
Who should consider having a gingivectomy?
There are certain health conditions that require a gingivectomy and these include receding gums. This is a condition where your gum tissue pulls away from your teeth exposing the root. Gum recession can come from:
- Aging gum conditions, such as gingivitis, bacterial infections, and gum damage
Your dentist may recommend a gingivectomy if you have gum disease in order to stop further gum damage. This also ensures that your oral health does not worsen.
Why should you treat gum disease?
What gum disease tends to do is create openings at the base of the teeth due to the tissue wearing down. These gaps then become an accumulation spot for bacterial byproducts such as calculus or tartar, a hardened form of plaque. In turn, the gum disease then starts to affect your teeth resulting in cavities and tooth loss.
Additionally, if gum disease or infection is found during a checkup or cleaning and your dentist wants to stop its progression, they may advise this operation.
Cosmetic gingivectomy is completely optional. Many dentists will not advise it unless the dangers are minimal or if the dentist is a specialist in cosmetic dentistry.
Before undergoing this treatment, consult a dentist to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of an elective gingivectomy.
What to expect during the procedure
Depending on how much gum tissue your dentist removes, a gingivectomy might take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
Minor operations involving one or more teeth may likely only require one appointment. Major gum contouring or removal may need numerous visits, particularly if your dentist wishes to wait until one area has healed before moving on to the next.
This is how the process goes:
- To numb the area, your dentist injects a local anesthetic into the gums.
- They then target and remove gum tissue using either a laser or a scalpel. This achieves a small soft tissue incision.
- Your dentist will probably retain a suction instrument in your mouth throughout the process to remove the extra saliva.
- Your dentist will probably use a laser tool to vaporize any remaining tissue and sculpt the gumline once they remove the unwanted tissue.
- To protect your gums while they heal, your dentist applies bandages and a soft putty-like substance to the area.
How does gingivectomy using a scalpel and a laser compare?
Due to ongoing advancements in laser technology, laser gingivectomies are becoming more and more popular. Due to the heat generated by the laser, lasers are also more accurate, enable quicker healing and cauterization, and reduce the danger of infection from contaminated metal equipment.
Because laser operations are more expensive and complicated than scalpel procedures, your dentist can suggest a scalpel gingivectomy if they lack the necessary skills or equipment.
A scalpel gingivectomy might be more affordable if you have health insurance because your plan might not cover laser procedures. Before arranging a gingivectomy, it’s a good idea to call your insurance company to learn more about your benefits.
Gingivectomy recovery is often quick. Here is what to anticipate.
Right after surgery:
Your dentist and team will allow you to return home immediately after the procedure since it is not an invasive procedure. You can typically drive yourself home because your dentist will most likely simply use a local anesthetic.
Even while you might not experience pain right away, it could become more intense or persistent when the numbing wears off a few hours after the treatment. You can manage the pain with over-the-counter painkillers that your dentist will prescribe for you.
For a few days, your gums may probably bleed as well. Until bleeding stops or until your dentist says you can expose your gums again, change any bandages or dressings.
Before sending you home, your dentist or a dental assistant should instruct you on how to change your bandages or dressings. Call their office to ask for instructions if they didn’t explain it or if you have questions regarding the directions.
The upcoming days:
Your jaw may be hurting. To avoid irritating or harming your gums as they heal, your dentist probably advises you to only eat soft foods.
To relieve any discomfort or irritability that moves into your mouth, try putting a cool compress on your cheeks.
To keep the area free of bacteria or other irritating materials, use a warm saltwater rinse or saline solution. Avoid using mouthwash or other antiseptic liquids.
Antibiotics may also be necessary during your recovery to prevent gum infections.
Any discomfort will go away after approximately a week. To ensure that the area is healing properly and that you may resume a normal diet, visit your dentist once more.
Last but not least, look after your teeth. Reduce your intake of foods high in sugar, avoid smoking, and brush and floss twice daily.
When to visit the dentist after a gingivectomy?
Immediately consult a dentist if you experience:
- Bleeding that won’t stop severe pain that won’t subside with time or at-home care
- Fever or unusual pus discharge
What Is the Price of a Gingivectomy?
Gingivectomy expenses might cost between $200 and $400 each tooth. For numerous teeth — typically up to three — completed in a single appointment, some dentists may charge less.
If you have insurance, the treatment of periodontal disease or a mouth injury with a gingivectomy is often covered by your policy. The price may change based on how much work is done and how many sessions are required to finish it.
If it’s done for elective cosmetic purposes, your insurance probably won’t pay it.
Gingivectomy vs gingivoplasty
Gum tissue removal is referred to as a gingivectomy.
Gingivoplasty involves altering the gums to change the way they look or perform certain tasks, such as preventing cavities or enhancing chewing.
In order to restore tooth and gum function, gingivoplasty—a less common kind of gum disease treatment—may be performed if your gums are harmed by a hereditary disorder or as part of other dental operations, particularly when your teeth and gums deteriorate over time.
A gingivectomy is a low-cost, low-risk treatment that can be used to treat diseased gum tissue or to alter the way your smile looks. Recovery happens quickly, and the result is frequently favorable.