What Is A Gingivectomy Surgery? Houston Dentist Dr. Jasmine Naderi Explains
Gingivectomy is a dental procedure where your dentist or periodontist (gum doctor) removes extra gum (or soft) tissue around your tooth to make it more aesthetic or functional. It is different than a crown lengthening procedure because the latter involves the removal of both soft tissue and hard tissue (bone). A gingivectomy is performed for aesthetics or to improve the prognosis of the tooth or teeth that is being worked on.
A gingivectomy is also performed on patients with gum disease where the have a deep pocket between their gums and their teeth. Removing the extra soft tissue eliminates the nest that bacteria can make inside the pocket helping prevent and eliminate periodontal (gum) disease all together.
When is a gingivectomy necessary or indicated?
- Gingivectomy is the primary treatment method available in reducing the pocket depths in patients with gum disease. Gingivectomy surgery has proven to be more successful in reducing pocket depths and inflammation compared to non-surgical treatments in pockets where it becomes difficult to access the area by patients. Removal of deep pockets will allow better visibility and access for the removal of calculus and tartar. This allows patients to keep the area clean, and reduce and even eliminate any signs of periodontal disease.
- Elimination of gum overgrowth or enlargement: Excess gingival growth can be caused by multiple factors including but not limited to: drugs (Nifedipine, Phenytoin, Cyclosporin A), braces (nickle allergy), and genetics. Surgical therapy with a gingivectomy proves to be a very successful procedure for these patients. Another leading cause of gingival overgrowth would be a genetic condition known as gingival fibromatosis. The extensive overgrowth of gingival tissue is usually treated with a gingivectomy, as it produces good cosmetic results, but recurrence and relapse of that gum tissue is often seen frequently.
- Gingivectomy surgeries are also used when a patients has excess gum showing when they smile, also known as a “gummy smile.” If the teeth are short and covered by too much gum tissue, this procedure can really work wonders in changing the entire complexion of a patient sitting in your chair.
How much does a gingivectomy surgery cost?
The average cost of a gingivectomy procedure is $200 a tooth. Some dentists may charge less if multiple teeth are needing gingivectomy surgery.
What Techniques are used to perform a gingivectomy surgery?
Typically a small dental blade is used to make in the incisions to remove the extra gum tissue that has formed. The blade that is normally used is called a 15c blade, and it does a wonderful job to carefully remove the proper amount of tissue.
To reduce pain for the patient after the procedure, the blade surgery should be as atraumatic as the dentist can make it. If the procedure has been carried out carefully, the patient’s post-operative pain is minimized. Pain may be experienced initially following the procedure, but this will subside within a week of the surgery. Your dentist should give you antibiotics and pain medication to minimize the pain and swelling after the procedure the completed. After the gum tissue is removed, your dentist will place sutures to hold the gum tissue together until healing has completed.
Proper oral hygiene levels are going to be a must after the procedure, otherwise the disease will return. Patients may struggle with self-performed oral hygiene initially after the procedure, due to pain and discomfort, so regular visits for professional maintanence cleanings are needed.
Immediately after the surgery, patients are recommended to rinse with an appropriate anti-plaque agent called Peridex. After the sutures are removed, oral hygiene can go back to normal with a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste. Warm salt water rinses can also help stimulate the healing process after your surgery.
Laser gingivectomy stands for: Light Amplification by Stimulated emission of Radiation
There are three main forms of lasers currently on the market. These include:
- Nd:YAG (Neodymium: Yttrium Aluminium Garnet) laser
- CO2 laser
- Diode laser
A big benefit of laser is that studies have showing that lasers can reduce bacterial growth after the procedure. The will certainly help relapse from occurring due to a lack of inflammation after the procedure. One of the other big benefits of laser gingivectomy is that there is a minimal amount of pain that is experienced by patients after the procedure. There is also a lot less bleeding during the procedure with Laser gingivectomy surgery which helps the dentist visualize the surgical site during the procedure.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From A Gingivectomy?
It usually takes around 6-8 weeks to completely heal from a gingivectomy.
If you happen to be in Houston, and have any questions about Gingivectomy surgery call us at (281) 762-0637