Teeth whitening, teeth straightening and veneers probably get most of the attention in popular culture and social media these days, but they’re far from the only cosmetic dentistry options your dentist in Okotoks can offer. Two other options for making subtle changes to your mouth that can have disproportionately positive impacts on your smile and self-esteem are gum contouring and tooth contouring.
What is gum contouring?
Gum contouring in Okotoks is a cosmetic dentistry procedure to change the shape and appearance of your gums. Contouring is a common option in two situations: to trim unwanted gum tissue that contributes to a “gummy” smile; and to replace gum tissue that you’ve lost due to periodontal disease with the result that your roots are exposed.
A gummy smile is sometimes referred to as an “excessive gingival display. Gummy smiles are caused by: a bad bite where your top jaw doesn’t align neatly with your bottom jaw; hyperactive muscles in your upper lip and under your nose that cause the top lip to rise; excessive gum tissue; and the length of your upper lip.
Gum contouring to address a gummy smile is performed by periodontists and cosmetic dentists under local anesthesia to gum the area being treated. During what is usually a one to two-hour procedure, your dentist will remove excess gum tissue on your teeth using a scalpel or soft tissue laser and resculpt your gum line. Once the reshaping is done, sutures may be put in place to keep the gum tissue in position as it heals.
Gum contouring to restore gum tissue lost due to periodontitis, the tissue will be taken from elsewhere in your mouth and relocated to your gums to lengthen and reshape your gum line. As with contouring for a gummy smile, the tissue will be held in place with sutures.
What is tooth contouring?
Tooth contouring near you alters the size, length and shape of healthy teeth by using drills and hard tissue lasers to remove small portions of the enamel from your teeth. It is a quick and minimally invasive procedure that can dramatically improve your appearance by reshaping your teeth, correcting minor chips and correcting minor overcrowding in even small ways. Contouring is limited to correcting minor flaws because only small amounts of enamel can be removed. Your original enamel layer is approximately 2.8 millimetres thick and it can not all be removed.
After some enamel has been removed to establish a more attractive appearance or a better fit with other teeth, your dentist will polish the altered tooth to achieve a smooth finish. Tooth contouring is most commonly applied in your upper “smile zone” which includes your upper front incisors and canine teeth.
Good candidates for tooth contouring are people with generally healthy teeth and thick enough enamel that it will have sufficient strength to protect your tooth even after the removal of some of it. People with particularly thin or sensitive teeth may not be good candidates for tooth contouring. If tooth contouring is not an appropriate procedure to achieve your cosmetic dentistry goals, your dentist may be able to suggest alternative treatments.
Qualified and creative dentists can improve the appearance of almost any aspect of your gums, teeth and mouth. Cosmetic dentists have an enormous range of services to help you achieve your cosmetic dentistry goals. If you think tooth contouring or gum contouring might help you to achieve the smile and appearance that you want, reach out to a dentist in Okotoks to confirm the procedures are right for you.