This patient was in her late 20’s and she had always been terribly embarrassed to smile. She would always want to get in photos where only her left side was showing. This led to every time that she could choose a side during a photograph with a group or by herself, she would make sure only her left side would be visible. If she had a full on shot, she would shy away from smiling especially if that view was from the front. Her gums were uneven, teeth were discolored, some teeth we different lengths and she certainly did not want to wear bright lipstick shades so as to not draw any attention to her uneven smile. What could be done to restore her joy and confidence in her smile? How did we transform her gums and smile? Was surgery required? Was there any pain involved?
The gums in the photos are uneven in the front two teeth and the research shows that if we want people to have a pleasurable view of our smile, then the front two teeth need to be exactly the same in every way. The same length, the same shape, the same color, the same texture, the same everything. They all need same materials, so even if one tooth is a crown and one is a natural tooth, unless it’s done really, really well, the eye will cast attention to those two front teeth and the differences between them.
A gum lift procedure raises and sculpts the gum line. We reshaped the tissue and underlying bones to create the appearance of longer or symmetrical teeth. The procedure is minimally invasive, but the result is a smile that is more aesthetically pleasing. Too often patients think that gum lifts are too painful to even consider. Advanced OKC family dentistry has enabled us to perform gum lifts with a minimal amount of pain.
The post-op pain she reported was quite minimal and was much less than she had expected. She took over-the-counter ibuprofen after the procedure. The next day she felt like there was a small headache in her gums, but other than that no real pain. There was a little bit of swelling, but she ate just fine after the procedure. She said she would do it again and I think that the results justify the means, especially when the means involved very little pain during the procedure or immediately after in healing.
Since the procedure she’s gotten a lot more compliments on her smile from people that don’t even know that she had any work done to her teeth or her gums. That is what cosmetic dentistry is – people loving your smile and not being aware that you’ve had any dentistry performed to your smile. As a bonus, she says it’s also easier to floss. She feels like she smiles bigger and she’s not restricted. Since she has been through this procedure, she feels like she can share her experience with people a little bit easier and she’s even trying to get her little sister to do the same thing, due to her uneven smile. Were there any other surprise complications? One thing that she didn’t realize after the procedure during the healing process is that the tissue would slough off and wipe away. It was a really brief thing that she just happened to notice during the healing process.
We offer the full breadth of dental services at Reflections Dental Care in Oklahoma City. Call 405-563-7097 to set up a consultation or visit www.backup120517.mystagingwebsite.com for more information. Lance R. Schmidt D.D.S. is the owner/proprietor of Reflections Dental Care. Follow us on Twitter.