Normal length to width ratio of natural teeth
The patient did not like the artificial "Chiclet" appearance to her crowns and didn't like her gummy smile. She also did not like the fact that the edges of her upper teeth were always digging into her lower lip. A major cause for these crowns to appear artificial is that they are no longer than they are wide. Natural unworn teeth tend to average a width 75-85% of their length.
Correcting a gummy smile
To improve the length to width ratio, teeth should either be lengthened or the gumline should be raised. The choice was easy in this circumstance. The patient had a "gum lift" and new dentistry consisting of bridges, implants, and crowns. A gum lift enabled us to raise the exposed teeth up so the edges no longer were laying on the lower lip.
When is a gum lift necessary?
A gum lift is an elective surgical cosmetic procedure that is frequently done for patients who have a gummy smile. Although there are many causes of gummy smiles, most patients with extra gum noticeable in their smile can have it altered with one relitively simple procedure. Normally, the upper lip will rise with a smile to the tops of the upper teeth. More specifically, to the highest points of the gingival scallops or arches. It is said that you have a gummy smile when a smile exposes alot of gum above the teeth.
Is a gum lift covered by my insurance?
When a perio-plastic procedure such as a gum lift is done for elective procedures, it is not covered.
What does a gum lift cost?
As always, it depends. Dr. Fondriest will consult with you and the gum surgeon to decide how much to raise the gum and then the surgeon determines how easy the procedure will be. This procedure costs anywhere form $500 to $4000 depending on the level of difficulty and how many teeth will be included.