Gummy Smile Correction
Gummy Smile Surgery in Chicago
In addition to keeping you healthy, we consider it part of our job to make sure that you feel good about the way you look as well. It’s important to be confident with your smile in today’s world. A great smile is an integral part of success in modern professional and social settings.
What is a gummy smile?
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought that your teeth looked too small? Or, have you noticed that you are self-conscious about how much of your gums show when you give a big, natural smile? This common trait is known as a “gummy smile”. Dentists call it “excessive gingival display”. There are a number of causes, each with its own treatment options.
What causes a gummy smile?
The cause, or “etiology”, of a gummy smile, can be attributed to one of the following anatomic conditions. For most patients, it is a combination of two or more of these.
- Overgrowth of the maxilla (the upper jaw)
- Extra lip movement (also called hypermobile upper lip)
- A short upper lip
- Teeth that don’t rise above the bone
- Gums that don’t recede with age
Proper diagnosis is key to identifying which solution(s) will be most successful. The goal is to have both a significant change and a long-lasting effect.
What is the Solution to a Gummy Smile?
The proper treatment depends on correctly identifying the cause of the gummy smile. Traditional solutions range from laser gum lifts to crown lengthening (shaping the gums and underlying bone) to orthodontics and/or surgery. Below are two lesser-known, specialized approaches to treating gummy smiles that are also offered at Dental Professionals.
1. Botox for Gummy Smile Correction
When the problem is that smiling shows a lot of gums, but the teeth are normal in size and shape, Botox can sometimes be a solution. Dr. Jacobs has specialized training in diagnosing and treating patients this way. For those who want to try and correct their gummy smile in a reversible way, this is a nice way to start. The effect lasts 3-6 months – repeated treatments can be administered as needed to maintain the result.
2. Lip Repositioning Surgery (LRS) for Gummy Smile Correction
While Botox can temporarily repair gummy smiles, a minimally invasive surgical approach exists for longer-term correction. Dr. Jacobs has published one of the few existing articles on this and is one of only a few doctors in the country doing this procedure. Unique to his approach is a reversible trial procedure (developed a number of years ago by his father, also a dentist!) that allows patients to “preview” their results before definitive changes are made.
The surgical approach is done under local anesthetic, is totally comfortable, and generally takes less than two hours. As this procedure is not offered in many other places at all throughout the world, we are happy to help you arrange a trip to Chicago, where you can have the consultation, reversible trial, and definitive surgery in a single stay. Pre-consultation can often be done via email, using photos. Please contact us if you would like more information.
frequently asked questions
Gummy Smile Correction FAQs
Below are some common questions we are often asked, in addition to those listed above. We encourage patients with more interest in gummy smile correction to schedule a consult (in-person or virtual) to learn more about options for their specific situation.
What is the purpose of crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening literally means making the visible part of the tooth (the “crown”) look longer. This is done by removing gum tissue and a very small amount of underlying bone from around the affected teeth. For gummy smile correction, this shaping is done only on the front part of the teeth, so as to remove just what is necessary, without compromising gum health. The end result is making visibly tiny teeth look longer and more natural (see adjacent case photo).
Am I a candidate for gummy smile treatment?
We recommend you come in so we can perform a gummy smile consultation to determine whether gummy smile treatment is appropriate for your situation. These consults can also be performed virtually through our HIPPA-compliant teledental platform.
I am unhappy with the way my smile looks, but I am not sure exactly what is wrong. What should I do?
Schedule an evaluation with us. With a collaborative approach to care, even if one of the above procedures is not appropriate, we have a wide range of techniques for improving smiles, including cosmetic dentistry techniques, clear aligner orthodontics, whitening, and cosmetic surgeries. If we are unable to help, we also have a wide network of outside specialists that we can connect you with and facilitate a referral. Our goal is to help you get the highest quality treatment for your individual situation.
How much does gummy smile treatment cost?
Cost depends on your diagnosis and recommended treatment. Make an appointment with us, and once we’ve determined which treatment is correct for your diagnosis, we’ll present all costs upfront before moving forward. We want our patients to feel fully informed about treatment details, costs, and expected results before committing to scheduling a procedure.
What will my results be like?
The goal of our gummy smile treatments is not only to achieve a harmonious, natural-appearing result but also to maintain full function and stable oral health.