Recommendation For Lengthening For Gummy Smile, Small Teeth?

Hi there I am planning to get porcelain veneers done later this year. However I am starting to think that I could benefit from some tooth lengthening as I feel that my smile is a little bit gummy and my teeth look a bit small. My question is how long does teeth/crown lengthening need to be done before veneers can be put in (this includes healing time and stich removal). or will dentists typically remove part of the gum prior to applying the veneers anyway.

Doctor Answers 9

When to Fix Gummy Smile Before Veneers

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The best treatment plan for fixing a gummy smile is determined by what is causing the condition. In many cases, laser gum contouring followed by getting porcelain veneers is an excellent approach to correcting a gummy smile. The recovery following a laser gum contouring procedure is relatively quick, with patients experiencing some soreness for about a week. Crown lengthening is sometimes needed when a gum lift or contouring isn't adequate. Generally speaking, 4 to 6 weeks waiting time is needed before veneers are places. Without a photo, it isn't possible to provide advice in your case. Good luck with your treatment and new smile!

Crown lengthening vs. Gingivectomy

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In dentistry we can't just remove gum tissue where we want to- all the time. In almost all my cases I do , I do a certain amount of gingival contouring (gingivectomy).....mainly to establish gingival symmetry in the case.  Rarely can your raise the gumline of a gummy smile more than 2mm by using just a soft tissue laser (gingivectomy).  When a gummy smile needs a large amount of gum tissue removed the process of Crown lengthening has to take place to remove gum AND bone to keep the gums and teeth happy.  


Crown lengthening before porcelain veneers

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While improving aesthetics of upper anterior teeth the ratio of pink gum and white teeth is always evaluated. And in the situation when the teeth crowns look rather small and square, crown lengthening is highly recommended. The crown lengthening allows to provide better aesthetics. The wait time after crown lengthening can be 4-6 months. The longer is the waiting time, the better and more long-term will be the final results. After the gum contours are stable the porcelain veneers can be made. 

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You can laser the gum tissue to reduce a "gummy smile" look

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You can laser the gum tissue to reduce a "gummy smile" look if the reduction is minimal. I usually do it at the time of prep for veneers . ( my patients approve the design on the models)  . However , if there is a need for a gum and bone reduction, it can be done either  with traditional surgery or laser and it has to be done approximately 8 weeks ( minimum)  prior to doing anything in the area. In certain cases, I use Botox to relax the lips so that when patients smile, they do not show as much gum, therefore, no gum surgery needed.     

Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

Gummy smiles can be simple or complex to fix

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If it is minor, then a laser contouring can be done. This can be done at the time of doing the veneers, or a few days before (to be sure you are satisfied).  Significant changes may require some bone removal, which may take 8-12 weeks to fully heal before the veneers are done. 

Gum lift procedure to make a smile less gummy

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A photo would be helpful here but based on your description, if your teeth appear short because you display too much gum when you smile, then a laser-assisted gum reshaping may be a good option for you.  The amount of gum tissue that can be removed depends on the quality and quantity of underlying bone which your dentist can evaluate.  However, if when you smile, you don't show much gum but your teeth appear small, then think about veneers or bondings to add length to your teeth.

Michael Firouzian, DDS
Columbus Dentist

Gummy smile tooth lengthening

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The amount of time for a "gum-lift" really depends on the amount of gum tissue and/or bone that has to be removed. In general, if it's only a millimeter or 2 of gum tissue alone, it can be done with a laser at the same visit as the preparation  of the teeth, and there is virtually no healing time. If you need a bony procedure, however, I would recommend working together with a periodontist who should follow the guidelines given by your general "cosmetic" dentist. This will require 6-8 weeks healing before the final impression. Good luck, and make sure to ask to see some before/after pictures of similar procedures actually done by your dentist.

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

Recommendation For Lengthening For Gummy Smile, Small Teeth?

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Much of the beauty of a great smile comes from the outline of where the teeth and gums meet. Many times a plan to improve the aesthetics of the gum outline is just as important as the shape of the new porcelain veneers.

In some smile makeovers, the front teeth need to be made longer with the veneers. In other cases it's the gum line that should be raised to make the teeth look longer.

I use my laser to do gum contouring (or crown lengthening) in EVERY veneer case that we do. Sometimes it's minor-just to create that extra amount of perfection, and other times we are making significant gum height and shape alterations. 

The advantage of the laser is the the healing is extremely predictable and you don't have to wait. 

Like any thoughtful design, make sure that your cosmetic dentist understands what you are hoping to achieve, and that you have confidence that these questions are being accounted for in your plan.\


Recommendation For Lengthening For Gummy Smile, Small Teeth?

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The correction of a gummy smile in combination with porcelain veneers can look amazing when done well.  There are several ways to handle this case and I would recommend that your cosmetic dentist work with a periodontist (gum surgeon) to plan the case together.  When I do these cases I will plan the final length of the teeth and make a guide for the gum surgeon to remove the right amount of gum tissue.  As far as the healing time needed before the veneers are bonded in it will depend on how the surgery is performed.  The consensus in the dental literature is that you can take your final impression for the veneers when there is a probable sulcus.  This means when the tissue and gum pocket is healthy.  A rough estimate would be six to 8 weeks.  During this healing time my patients will wear a prototype of their final veneers that looks very nice and give both of us a chance to evaluate the esthetics.  Good luck!! Send me before and after pictures of your case.     

James D. Salazar, DDS
Encinitas Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.