What Is A Gingivectomy?
Gum tissue sometimes becomes an issue if it grows too thick or down over the teeth’ surfaces, making them look short. This can happen because of medications, inflammation due to gum disease, or bony overgrowth too close to the surface of the teeth. Periodontal disease can also cause deep pockets in the soft tissues around the teeth that harbor bacteria and cause the gums to pull away from the teeth.
A gingivectomy is a periodontal procedure to remove excess tissue and thoroughly clean the pockets around the base of the teeth. In most cases, a gingivectomy is performed before damage to the jawbone. During a gingivectomy, the gum tissue is removed or reshaped to remove any pockets and restore the gums to their natural position. Dr. Bal may also remove gingivitis and smooth out the teeth roots
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How is a Gingivectomy Different from Crown Lengthening?
During a gingivectomy, Dr. Bal cuts away some of the gum tissue. During a gingivectomy, the pockets around the base of the teeth are cleaned, and the surfaces of the teeth are smoothed to promote adherence of the gums to the teeth.
Crown lengthening also involves cutting away some of the soft tissues. It may include shaving down some of the jawbone so that more of the tooth is exposed if the procedure is down so that a crown can be placed on a damaged tooth.
The two terms (gingivectomy and crown lengthening) are often used interchangeably. Crown lengthening typically focuses on esthetics, while a gingivectomy focuses more on treating gingivitis and discouraging future gum disease.
Why Would I Need a Gingivectomy?
- Aesthetics: A gingivectomy can make your teeth look better by uncovering a portion of the gums if they cover too much surface. After a gingivectomy, your teeth look longer and more in proportion to the rest of your mouth and gums.
- Function: Some patients have excess gum tissue due to certain medications, including some high blood pressure, anti-seizure, or organ-transplant drugs. Gingivectomy can alleviate this problem.
- Health: Gingivectomy surgery reduces gum pockets around the base of the teeth and removes bacteria and infection due to deep gum pockets.
The Gingivectomy Treatment Process
Gingivectomy usually takes 30-60 minutes, depending on the condition of the gums and how much tissue is removed. A minor procedure for several teeth may involve a single session, while major reshaping or tissue removal may require several visits.
A local anesthetic is applied to the area to numb the gums, and Dr. Bal trims away any excess gum tissue. After this, surgical tools are used to reshape the gum line. Stitches are used to reattach the gum tissue around the teeth. The area is then cleaned with saline and dental rinses. A soft, surgical dressing is applied and left in place for a week to ensure healing.
If you have been referred to Dr. Bal for a gingivectomy or are interested in the procedure for aesthetic reasons, please contact our office.