“Gummy Smile” Correction – Is Surgery Necessary?

Cosmetic Dentistry for Dark Gums in Los Angeles

Many women and men are self-conscious about their look because, when they smile, they show a large amount of gum tissue. This characteristic can be extremely frustrating because it makes the teeth look smaller and draws attention away from the other facial features.

The old approach to this problem in Beverly Hills required the cosmetic dentist to perform invasive surgery to cut and reposition the jaw bone (orthognathic surgery) or to remove “excess” gum tissue to expose more teeth (crown lengthening). Unfortunately, many patients are still undergoing these procedures when a simpler – and, for most patients, much more effective – option is available. Greater exposure of the tooth tends to create a long-toothed appearance that is often just as displeasing as the “gummy” look, even if the dentist covers the exposed tooth with a veneer.

How “Gummy Smile” Correction in Los Angeles Works

The truth is that there is no “one size fits all” approach that will work for everyone, and a few patients will need a small-scale surgical procedure to adjust the shape of their gums. However, for the vast majority of cosmetic dentist patients in Beverly Hills, this is not necessary because the gums are simply not the cause of the problem.

Most patients with a “gummy” smile may have perfectly normal gums, but for certain people, smiling causes the upper lip to curl under itself and elevate far higher than it does for the average person exposing far more of the gums because of the upper lip being short or hypermobile. Cosmetic dentists and dental implant surgeons in Los Angeles who remove excess tissue from the gums are charging a great deal to “fix” the problem without addressing its root cause. Some doctors utilize BOTOX® Cosmetic to relax the upper lip to reduce their patients’ gummy smiles, but the results have been unpredictable, and considering that this technique only has a short-term effect (often only 2-3 months), it is quite costly.

At my practice, I have pioneered a simple, sophisticated procedure with long-lasting results to correct a “gummy smile”. The lip maintains a lower position even when the patient smiles, although this change is not visible when the patient’s lips are at rest.

While this procedure requires some of the same skills that are necessary for complex procedures like Los Angeles dental implant surgery, it is far less invasive, far less risky, less costly and for most patients far more effective than the “traditional” approach.

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