Gums,  Procedures

Gingivoplasty – Procedure, Cost, Definition, Indications, or Gingivectomy

Key Facts

  • Gingivoplasty is a surgical procedure that reshapes and contours the gums
  • It can be done for cosmetic reasons or to treat gum diseases
  • The procedure is typically performed by a periodontist or a dentist with training in periodontal procedures
  • Costs for gingivoplasty can vary widely based on the extent of the procedure, location, and insurance coverage
  • The procedure involves reshaping the gum tissue using surgical instruments or lasers
  • Recovery time is usually short, but patients may experience mild discomfort and should follow a soft diet for a few days

What is a Gingivoplasty?

Gingivoplasty is a dental procedure that involves the surgical reshaping and contouring of the gums (gingiva). This procedure can be performed for various reasons, including cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of the gums, or as a part of periodontal treatment for conditions such as gum disease.
In cases of gum disease, gingivoplasty may be performed to remove overgrown tissue and to create a natural gum shape that is easier to clean and maintain. For cosmetic reasons, it may be done to correct gums that are too high or too low around the teeth, to create a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

How Much Does a Gingivoplasty Cost?

The cost of gingivoplasty can vary based on several factors, including the complexity and extent of the procedure, the geographic location, the expertise of the dental professional, and insurance coverage. On average, the cost for gingivoplasty ranges from $200 to $600 per tooth. However, if the procedure is medically necessary as part of periodontal treatment, insurance may cover a portion of the cost. It is advisable to consult with your dentist and insurance provider to get an accurate estimate of the costs involved.

How Does a Gingivoplasty Work?

Gingivoplasty is typically performed by a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the treatment of gum diseases, or a general dentist with training in periodontal procedures. The procedure can be performed using various tools, including scalpels, electrosurgery units, or laser devices.
Here’s how the procedure typically works:

  • Consultation and Planning: Before the procedure, the dentist will evaluate the condition of your gums and discuss the goals and expectations of the procedure.
  • Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is usually administered to numb the area and ensure the patient does not feel pain during the procedure.
  • Reshaping the Gums: The dentist will carefully reshape and remove excess gum tissue. This can be done with a scalpel, electric knife, or a laser. The choice of instrument often depends on the dentist’s preference and the specific needs of the case.
  • Stitches and Dressing: In some cases, stitches may be necessary to help the gums heal properly. A periodontal dressing might also be applied to protect the area and facilitate healing.
  • Post-Procedure Care: After the procedure, patients are generally advised to follow a soft diet for a few days and to avoid vigorous brushing in the area that was treated. It is also important to follow any additional post-operative instructions provided by the dentist.
  • Follow-up: A follow-up appointment is usually scheduled within 7-10 days to monitor the healing process and to remove any stitches if they were placed.

Targeted Areas for Treatment

Gingivoplasty can target various areas of the gums. Most commonly, it’s used to reshape gum tissue around multiple teeth. It can also be used in cases of gum recession, where the gum line has receded and exposed too much of the tooth’s root. Moreover, it may be performed to correct overgrown gums that cover too much of the teeth’s crown.

Risks and Side Effects

As with any surgical procedure, gingivoplasty comes with some risks and side effects:

  • Bleeding: Some bleeding is normal, especially within the first 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Swelling and Discomfort: The treated area may be swollen and sore for several days.
  • Infection: There’s a risk of infection, although it’s relatively low. Proper post-operative care can minimize this risk.

What to Expect After Gingivoplasty

After the procedure, patients can expect some level of discomfort, which usually subsides within a few days. It’s important to follow the dentist’s instructions on oral hygiene and care. Patients should avoid smoking and consuming hot or spicy foods as these can irritate the gums. Typically, a follow-up appointment is scheduled within 7-10 days to monitor the healing process.

Preparing for Gingivoplasty

Before undergoing a gingivoplasty, patients should have a clear understanding of the procedure. It’s important to discuss any medications or supplements you are taking with your dentist. You should also arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure if sedation is used.

Bottom line

Gingivoplasty is a specialized dental procedure that can significantly improve the health and appearance of your gums. If you are considering this procedure, it is important to consult with a qualified dental professional who can provide detailed information and guidance based on your specific needs.

This article is complete and was published on June 25, 2023, and last updated on August 26, 2023.

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