A gummy smile makeover is our own treatment plan that we have developed and seen amazing results with. Not only will a gummy smile makeover treat the cause of your gummy smile, it will also treat any other dental issues that you may have that usually come hand-in-hand with gum issues, such as contouring and whitening, to leave you with a perfect, ideal smile that you can be proud of.
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What is a gummy smile?
When smiling or speaking, there is a defined ‘normal’ amount of gum that shows to anyone looking. The average measurement of visible gum is based on your age.
For example, a 21-year-old would usually show the entire front tooth including up to 1mm of gum. This is only seen when smiling wide, and as we grow older the amount of gum/tooth showing reduces. This is in part due to the collagen in our faces wearing out and making things head south!
By the time we are middle aged, we would expect to show no gum at all with maybe 2-5mm of the front central incisor.
A gummy smile is a perceived excess of gum on show when speaking or smiling. A gum show of 4mm+ would be called excessive and can be of concern when smiling.
When we smile, we often focus on the white teeth themselves. In fact, the balance of pink tones to white is just as important as the teeth. Dentists sometimes call this ‘gingival progression’ or ‘pink aesthetics’.
Getting gummy smile treatment in London
Now you are aware of what a gummy smile is, now we can tell you how we fix them. We use a gummy smile treatment known as a gummy smile makeover (GSM).
This is a proprietary technique developed by us to manage the vast majority of gummy smiles, combined with three other treatments: teeth contouring, teeth whitening, and stain blasting – a professional dental stain remover.
We are the originators of the method, having created and treated more cases than any other.
Gingival smile correction aftercare
Following your treatment, we encourage you to return to the clinic for a review in four weeks’ time. This is to check the state of the healing and maturity of the gum. The maturity is a technical expression of how ‘settled’ or healed the gum is. This occurs for six months after the procedure, with the first month being most critical. The dentist will address any areas of concern and hopefully your gums will have not relapsed at all!
Gum lifts are a relatively new treatment, with our data being collected over five years. In this time, we have seen remarkable stability in the gum, with less than 1% of our cases relapsing.
To an extent, the gums will heal and rest to a position that is physiologically stable – we can only modify this to an extent and this limit will be measured for you and indicate prior to the procedure.
We can fix your gummy smile in a single appointment that lasts around 90 minutes.
We start off by analysing your photograph, and this can be sent to us remotely. We show you a digital image so you can see what results you can expect, and suggest any alternative treatments as well.
If you decide to go ahead, we begin by conducting a dental health examination and ascertaining the causes of your gummy smile. The dentist will also gauge the level of risk of the gum condition relapsing with our treatment.
The procedure itself involves a local anaesthetic, which numbs the gum and lips for around 3 hours. The gum lift is painless after this and all you will hear is several beeps from the machinery and maybe a little pressure.
The risk of gums relapsing can be reduced by meticulous cleaning, and we start this for you by professionally cleaning and stain blasting your teeth and gums. The dentist will emphasis excellent cleaning, starting from the day of your treatment and continuing lifelong.
The final stages of the appointment involve tooth contouring. Sometimes shortening the tips of any teeth that may be of risk of becoming too long is planned at the outset starting with your digital simulation, and again in person before the procedure.
The final step is to take moulds to fabricate bespoke whitening trays. Whitening is best performed at night over two weeks using a 16% carbamide peroxide solution. We meticulously make our own whitening trays using an exceptionally powerful positive pressure thermoformer.
After a gum lift, it is a good idea to delay whitening to give your gums a chance to begin healing. Seven days is the minimum advisory interval.
No one knows what this holds for the future, but we feel biologically, the procedure is performed with the most current knowledge at heart, and there is no physiological reason for complications after this. Just like any medical or dental procedure, unexpected complications are a possibility, we still feel it is unlikely.
The most significant risk is that the gum can relapse and grow back to its original position over the short-term.
There can occasionally be a scope to raise the gum again, but your dentist will assess if this is safe on a case-by-case basis. There are certain factors we have found can predict the risk of relapse and these will be made known to you before you start the procedure.
There is a risk of the tooth structure beneath the gum being of a different shade of your actual teeth. In reality, we find this is a rare concern, and in all cases after whitening, the colour has equalised.
As with most dental procedures, sensitivity is a common side effect. Occasionally, the root is exposed on one or more teeth, which can be more sensitive. This can be short or long-term, and addressing it with sensitive tooth paste and/or calcium phosphate solution is one method of management.