As a cosmetic dentist, we are a dentist first and as the name suggest are myopically focused on the cosmetic or aesthetic side of dentistry as well. We believe that it is important to focus, not only on the functionality and health of a mouth, but also the appearance of the teeth. Restoring a gorgeous smile you can have is our passion, and to do so we have honed our skills to give you the brightest, whitest, and straightest teeth possible. With the increased awareness on the importance of having a great smile, what we do has become common knowledge. Today, you know that if you want whiter teeth you come see a cosmetic dentist to have teeth whitening done. If your teeth are not straight, you can get braces to straighten them and if you have a broken, chipped, or cracked tooth we can fix them with dental veneers or cap them with dental crowns. Even if you have lost a tooth, we can replace them with dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants. These are the procedures we do every day, however, there are a few procedures that we perform that are not quite as well known.
As a cosmetic dentist, we know that there is a lot of crossover between making sure that your teeth look great and ensuring that your mouth is extremely healthy. One procedure that clearly demonstrates this is a gingivectomy. Initially done only for medical purposes, it was discovered that the procedure also had aesthetic applications and hence can be performed by a cosmetic dentist. The procedure is designed to remove the excess or loose gum tissue that can form as a result of periodontitis. When a person has gum disease, periodontitis, the gums can become separated from the teeth which creates deep pockets in the gums, and between the gums and teeth.
These pockets are extremely unattractive, and also give plaque an ideal place to build up. The buildup of plaque occurs because it is extremely hard to clean these pockets. So the pockets must be removed. To do this, we will inject a local anesthetic into the gums to make the numb. Once the gums have been made numb enough, we will remove the excess tissue. Some cosmetic dentists remove the tissue using laser or radiosurgery. While we are removing the tissue, we will also contour the gums so that they do not lose their shape.
We often have to do gum contouring as part of a gingivectomy. Other times we have to do a gum contouring in order to shorten or length a patients’ gums. When you have gums, that are too long they can appear to cover the teeth, which gives you a gummy smile and makes the teeth appear small. On the other hand, if your gums are too short, they can expose the root or cause your teeth to appear too big. Gum contouring can fix this very easily with an in-house procedure that is completed under local anesthesia. As a cosmetic dentist, we can improve the health and appearance of your gums using these and other procedures. For more information, call and schedule a consultation.
Dr. Eric Vanek, d.d.s
Eric has been a practicing dental surgeon for over 20 years and is the owner of Vanek Dentistry, a family dental practice in Costa Mesa, CA.
Published April 2, 2015. Updated August 17, 2021