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Gum Lift Options: Laser vs. Non-Laser Procedures

December 1st, 2023 | 5 min read

By NYC Smile Design

When it comes to enhancing your smile, the focus often lands on the teeth. However, gums play an equally vital role in the aesthetics and health of your smile. If you’re considering gum removal procedures, you’re likely weighing your options between laser and non-laser methods. 

At NYC Smile Design, we believe in empowering our patients with knowledge, so let’s delve into the details. This article provides you with a comprehensive guide to these two popular approaches.

Understanding Gum Removal Procedures: What is Gum Removal?

Gum removal, also known as gum contouring or reshaping, is a dental procedure aimed at removing excess gum tissue. This can be for aesthetic reasons, such as correcting a “gummy” smile, or for health reasons like treating gum disease. The procedure can be performed using various methods, including laser and non-laser techniques.

Keep in mind that the type of procedure is usually dependent on the number of teeth, the amount of gum that needs removing, and the shape of your bone. You will need a consultation to ensure that you have the proper procedure done for your smile journey.

Lasered gums

Why Consider Gum Removal?

Gum removal can offer both aesthetic and functional benefits. It can improve the proportions and symmetry of your gums, thereby enhancing your smile. Additionally, removing excess gum tissue can make it easier to maintain oral hygiene, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and gum disease.

Laser Gum Removal

Laser gum removal is a modern dental procedure that uses laser technology to remove excess gum tissue with high precision. This method is known for its minimal invasiveness, quick healing times, and reduced risk of bleeding or infection. Conducted under local anesthesia, laser gum removal is often a painless experience that offers both aesthetic and functional benefits for your smile.

Advantages of Laser Procedures

Laser gum removal has a lot of things going for it that make people prefer it over traditional methods. One of the biggest perks is how precise it is. The laser is extremely accurate, which means it only gets rid of damaged or excess gum tissue, leaving everything else untouched. This is beneficial for procedures with one or two teeth because it lowers the chances of messing with healthy parts of your gums or teeth.

Another big advantage is that it’s not as harsh as other methods. Because it’s less invasive, you usually don’t have to worry about a lot of bleeding or a long, painful recovery. Most people find that they heal pretty quickly after getting laser gum removal. Plus, the procedure itself is generally pain-free. You’ll likely get local anesthesia, which means they’ll numb the area they’re working on so you won’t feel a thing while it’s happening. All of these benefits make laser gum removal a popular choice for those looking to improve their smile.

Post laser operation

Potential Drawbacks of Laser Procedures

Even though laser gum removal has a lot of benefits, there are some things you might want to think about before choosing this option. One of the main concerns is the cost. Laser procedures often come with a higher price tag compared to traditional, non-laser methods. Laser gum removal averages around as much as $300 or more per tooth depending on if your insurance covers it.  This could be a significant factor if you’re on a budget or if you’re trying to find a treatment that fits within your financial means.

Another thing to consider is your dental insurance. Not all insurance plans cover laser gum lifting, so you’ll want to double-check your policy before you go ahead with the procedure. To ask your doctor, give them the code for a periodontal gingivectomy – D4210 (four or more teeth) or D4211 (one to three teeth). You don’t want to be caught off guard by unexpected costs that you thought would be covered. So, while laser gum removal is a great option for many reasons, these potential drawbacks are something you’ll want to think about and discuss with your dental care provider.

Non-Laser Gum Removal

Non-laser gum removal, often referred to as traditional gum surgery, involves the use of a scalpel and sutures to remove excess gum tissue. This method is generally more invasive than its laser counterpart and may require a longer healing period. While effective, non-laser gum removal often involves more discomfort and a higher risk of bleeding or infection. It’s usually performed under local anesthesia and may be recommended for more complex gum issues.

Advantages of Non-Laser Procedures

Non-laser methods for gum removal, like using a scalpel, have their own set of advantages that might make them a better fit for some people. One of the biggest pluses is the cost which ranges from $50-$350. Note that the price is dependent on the complexity of the situation, like how many teeth or how much gum needs to be removed. These traditional techniques are usually less expensive than their laser counterparts, making them a more budget-friendly option for many patients. This can be a big relief if you’re watching your wallet or if your dental insurance doesn’t cover laser treatments.

Another advantage is that these methods have been around for a long time, so dentists are very familiar with how to do them. This means you’re in experienced hands, which can be comforting when you’re about to undergo a procedure. In non-laser methods, the dentist is also given a better opportunity to access the bone if contouring is needed. Just like with laser gum removal, you’ll usually get local anesthesia for a non-laser procedure to make sure you’re comfortable and don’t feel any pain during the treatment. So, while they might not be as high-tech as laser methods, non-laser options are a reliable and cost-effective choice that many people opt for.

Potential Drawbacks of Non-Laser Procedures

While non-laser methods like scalpel techniques have their advantages, they also come with some potential drawbacks that you should be aware of. One of the main concerns is that these traditional methods often result in more bleeding during the procedure compared to laser methods. This could be a bit unsettling if you dislike blood but could be the better option if you only have a few teeth involved. Additionally, because there’s usually more bleeding, the healing process can take a bit longer. You might need to take extra time off work or avoid certain foods and activities until you’re fully healed.

Another issue to consider is the risk of infection. While any surgical procedure carries some risk of infection, non-laser methods might have a slightly higher risk due to its precision and if you don’t follow the post-procedure care instructions carefully. Your dentist will give you guidelines on how to take care of your gums after the procedure to minimize this risk, but you must follow these instructions in the letter. So, while non-laser methods are generally more affordable, you’ll need to weigh these potential downsides when making your decision.

Gum bleeding

Factors to Consider with Gum Removal

When it comes to gum removal, patients often come across the choice between laser and non-laser procedures. However, there’s a common misconception that the decision rests solely in the hands of the patient. In reality, the choice of procedure is typically determined by the dentist and is heavily dependent on the specific dental structure and needs of the individual.

The shape of your teeth, the amount of gum, and the condition of your bone are significant factors that influence this decision. For instance, laser procedures may be suitable for precise gum contouring and are known for their minimal bleeding and quicker healing times. They can be ideal for soft tissue adjustments without affecting the bone. On the other hand, non-laser procedures, which might involve more traditional surgical methods, could be necessary when there’s a need for more extensive reshaping that includes bone removal.

It’s crucial to understand that each case is unique, and while lasers offer advanced technology with many benefits, they are not always the appropriate choice for every situation. Your current oral health status or the number of teeth can also influence which method is best for you. If you have advanced gum disease, for example, non-laser surgical methods may be more appropriate.

Conclusion: Your Path to a Healthier Smile

As you weigh the options for your gum removal procedure, it’s essential to recognize that both laser and non-laser techniques come with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Your ultimate choice should be a well-rounded decision, taking into account multiple factors such as your current oral health condition, your budget, and your comfort and preferences regarding medical procedures.

Patient at the dentist

Understanding the benefits of each method can significantly impact your experience and the results you achieve. Therefore, it’s crucial to educate yourself thoroughly before making a choice. To assist you in this important decision-making process, we invite you to delve deeper into the subject by visiting the Gum Lifting page on the NYC Smile Design website. These guides are designed to provide you with the in-depth information you need to make an informed choice tailored to your unique needs.

Your journey toward a healthier, more radiant smile begins with the choices you make today. Equip yourself with the knowledge and insights you need by consulting trusted resources and professionals. And remember, an educated decision is the first step in your path to a more confident and healthier smile.