What Is a Laser Gingivectomy?

It can be frustrating to see nothing but gums when you smile, even if you take great care of your teeth. Or maybe you’re dealing with less-than-healthy gums and are searching for the perfect solution. McMurphy Orthodontics is here for you in your oral health journey, no matter where you are! A laser gingivectomy is a dental procedure that can help correct a gummy smile and improve your oral health. 

Many Biloxi and Ocean Springs people hear the word “laser” and get nervous about their treatment. If this sounds relatable, we’re here to explore what a laser gingivectomy is and how it could benefit your smile.

What is a laser gingivectomy? How does it work?

There are two main types of gingivectomy: surgical, which is done with a scalpel, and laser, how we do it in our Biloxi and Ocean Springs offices.

At McMurphy Orthodontics, we use laser gingivectomy treatment to get more precise results in a shorter time. We’ll start by thoroughly placing a pharmaceutical topical gel to numb the treatment area. This gel may be all of the numbing you require, but we can supplement it with a local anesthetic. 

In 10-15 minutes, your gums will be ready for the procedure without discomfort. Dr. McMurphy will remove all of the extra gum tissue and use the laser to shape your gum line beautifully. 

Surgical gingivectomy requires sutures, but Dr. McMurphy uses a laser that cauterizes the wound as he works. This eliminates the need for stitches and helps minimize your healing time. We’ll use a suction tool to remove excess saliva during your procedure. 

The total procedure time for a laser gingivectomy with McMurphy Orthodontics takes less than 30 minutes, and the results will benefit your beautiful and confident smile for a lifetime.

Who is a candidate for laser gingivectomy?

Your dentist may recommend a laser gingivectomy if you have gum recession caused by aging, various gum diseases, bacterial infections, or gum injury. A laser gingivectomy can help repair any existing damage and protect your gums from any damage in the future. 

Periodontal disease is a more severe condition that affects the gums. This disease creates openings at the bottoms of your teeth where plaque and bacteria can build up. Over time, this buildup can damage your teeth and bone beyond repair. Your dentist may recommend a laser gingivectomy to help stop the progression of the disease and provide easier access to your teeth for regular cleanings. 

The gums can become bulbous and swollen during orthodontic treatment, especially in cases when gaps/spaces are closed. Dr. McMurphy specializes in laser gingivectomy, bulk tissue removal, and reshaping the gums a few weeks before completing braces treatment. This gives you time to fully heal and see your perfect new smile the day we remove your braces. Having laser gingivectomy treatment before your braces come off also helps your retainers fit better to maintain your final results.

Many Biloxi and Ocean Springs people choose to have an elective laser gingivectomy to correct gummy smiles. A gummy smile doesn’t have one solid definition, but you’ll likely know it when you see it. Studies show that people find more than three millimeters of gingiva less attractive than smiles that show less of the gum line. 

What Is a Laser Gingivectomy?

How is the recovery process?

Most people bounce back from a laser gingivectomy quickly and with ease. Here is what to expect and a few tips to help you along the way:

The first hours after surgery

Since we use local anesthesia, you’ll be able to go home right after your procedure. You can even drive yourself! As the numbing wears off over the next few hours, you may have some sharp or persistent pain. To get some relief, you can take any over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol or ibuprofen. 

Your gums may bleed for the first few days after surgery. Not to worry, this is the normal healing process. Make sure to brush the area gently and be more careful with hot and cold foods.

The next few days

You may have some jaw pain for a few days after your laser gingivectomy. We recommend eating soft foods until the pain subsides to give your mouth time to heal. 

You can use a cold compress to soothe any pain you may have in your jaws. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to keep your mouth clean and free from any bacteria. In some cases, we may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection while you’re healing.

Long-term care

You’ll need to see your doctor a few weeks after your procedure to make sure everything is healing correctly. After you get the green light, you’ll only need to keep up a regular oral hygiene routine to keep your smile in shape!

How much does a laser gingivectomy cost?

As with any dental procedure, the cost of a laser gingivectomy will vary depending on your circumstances. If you have dental insurance, it may cover the procedure if you need it to treat periodontal disease or other detrimental conditions. 

However, if you consider a laser gingivectomy for cosmetic reasons, your insurance probably won’t cover the cost. 

What Is a Laser Gingivectomy?

Get your smile back with McMurphy Orthodontics

Whether you’re dealing with gum disease or a gummy smile, our team will walk you through the pros and cons of a laser gingivectomy. We would love to hear from you if you want to learn more about how a laser gingivectomy with McMurphy Orthodontics can help you get your smile back. 

Contact our Biloxi or Ocean Springs offices to schedule a free consultation with Dr. McMurphy. Let’s start your journey to a healthier smile together!