West Hills Smiles

A dentist examining a patient’s gums

What Is Gingival Sculpting, And Does It Hurt?

The Process of Gingival Sculpting

Gingival sculpting is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that reshapes your gums. The patient stays awake throughout the procedure unless they have dental anxiety and chose sedation dentistry or have other medical conditions that require general anesthesia. Otherwise, local anesthesia can effectively numb the gums and perform the procedure.

Your dentist will use a scalpel or laser to remove parts of your gum if you have your gumline too low. If you have a high gum line, the dentist will remove the soft tissue from other parts of the mouth, for example, the palate, and attach it to the gum to lower it a little.

Gingival sculpting procedures usually last around 1 or 2 hours, but it can vary depending on how much contouring your gumline needs.

When is Gingival Sculpting Medically Necessary?

Although gingival sculpting is generally used to correct your gumline to give you a perfect smile, sometimes, the procedure becomes necessary medically.

People who suffer from periodontal disease may require gingival sculpting. This is because periodontal disease deteriorates the gums and causes recession. It also forms tumors of gum tissue between the teeth, which might need to be surgically removed.

However, gingival sculpting is the last resort to treat periodontal disease and your dentists will first try oral medicines like antibiotics.

People, especially as they age, also experience receding gums which exposes the part of teeth that doesn’t have enamel. This increases the sensitivity of their teeth, making it hard for them to eat and drink normally. Gingival sculpting can help cover the exposed parts and restore teeth function.

How Much Does GingivaA dentist performing a dental procedure on a patient l Sculpting Cost?

The cost of the procedure depends upon the number of gums that have to be removed or restored. The procedure can range from approximately $50-200 for one tooth, to $3000 on average for the whole procedure.

Does Dental Insurance Cover the Cost of Gingival Sculpting?

Dental insurance is for medical emergencies and procedures. If you’re getting gingival sculpting done to correct your smile, it comes under cosmetic dentistry, which most insurance companies do not cover. However, if gingival sculpting is being done for a medical reason, it is often covered under dental insurance.

Speak to your insurance policy provider to learn more about your coverage. Not all policies are the same.

Different types of dental equipment

Does Gingival Sculpting Hurt?

Before the surgery, you’ll be given local anesthesia which numbs your gums, so the surgery itself won’t be painful. However, you may experience pain, tenderness, or numbness after the procedure, especially if it’s done with a scalpel instead of a laser. The amount and location of discomfort depend on where and how much your gum was removed or reshaped.

Your dentist will prescribe you painkillers after the surgery, for example, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc. You can also apply ice or a cold pack to your mouth and the gums to relieve pain.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Gingival Sculpting?

The process of reshaping your gums last only an hour or two, but the recovery process usually takes a week, or more, depending on the amount of gum tissue removed or added.

After the surgery, you will feel pain and tenderness in your mouth, which might force you to limit a few activities, like eating hard foods, drinking chilled drinks, etc. Soft foods are ideal after getting gingival sculpting. These foods include:

  • Yogurt
  • Soup
  • Smoothies
  • Jell-O
  • Applesauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Oatmeal

Your dentist will inform you what you should eat and what you must avoid. You’ll also have follow-up appointments to assess your recovery and your dentists will update the diet plan accordingly.

Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic mouth rinse to prevent the risk of infection since there are open wounds in your mouth after the surgery, and bacteria could infect it.

A dentist performing a dental procedure on a patient

If you’re looking to get your gums reshaped, West Hills Smiles offers laser-assisted gum reshaping.

Our procedures are performed using the latest technologies and under the supervision of the best dentists in Woodland Hills. We also offer general dentistry services, cosmetic dentistry services, and dental implants.

For further information regarding our services or to book your appointment, get in touch with us now.

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