Gingivectomy is a dental procedure often done for both cosmetic and health-related reasons. It involves the removal of some of the tissue of the gingiva, or gums, to achieve a more pleasing appearance, or to make the teeth and gum-line easier to clean. The gingivectomy was developed to treat periodontal disease. While it is still used to treat this condition, gingivectomy is now more commonly used as a cosmetic surgery.
Apart from the treatment of gum disease, there are also other reasons this procedure may be performed. Sometimes, pockets or gaps can form between teeth and gums, which may trap bacteria or small bits of food, and be hard to keep clean. In this case, the procedure is used to remove some soft tissue and thus eliminate the problem. In other cases, there may be too much gum tissue around the teeth, or it may extend too low. Some people may dislike the effect this has on their appearance, especially their smile, and will elect to have the surgery to correct this issue.
How does it work?
One quarter of the mouth is usually worked on at a time, after having been numbed by a local anesthetic. Once the area is numb, a laser is used to precisely cauterize and remove gum tissue. Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon places a special putty over the gum-line to protect it and to facilitate healing. Complete healing takes a few days or weeks, after which the gums should take on a much healthier appearance.