Gums are often overlooked, but they play an integral role in your smile. When they are discolored, you may feel self-conscious about showing your teeth to others or even posting photos on social media of your beautiful smile, which could hurt your business networking opportunities and relationships with friends and family members. Fortunately, there are many treatments that can help brighten up the area surrounding your teeth and gums, making your smile more radiant and enhancing your appearance.
What is Gingival Depigmentation?
This procedure is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that removes the natural pigment from the teeth and gums, giving them a lighter appearance. Patients who undergo this treatment commonly report that they are more confident in their smiles. Gingival depigmentation can be used to treat adults and children alike, but it is especially helpful for patients who have gum disease or other conditions that make their gums dark. The procedure requires topical anesthesia and takes about an hour to complete. At first, your teeth will appear pinker than normal while they heal; however, over time they will return to their original color if you maintain good oral hygiene.
The process of getting your gums depigmented starts by having a consultation with your dentist or doctor.
Do I Need It?
The answer is yes. Gingival depigmentation, or tooth whitening for your gums, has become a popular cosmetic procedure for people who are looking to brighten and clean up their smiles. The gums are a component of your smile. And if they are dark or splotchy, you may feel shy about them. Even if you have shiny, straight, white teeth, gum discoloration can make you reluctant to smile. Your gums are one of the first things people see when they look at your mouth so it makes sense that you want them to be as healthy and attractive as possible.
What does Will Happen At My First Appointment?
At your first appointment, our dentists will do a checkup and cleaning and start to determine if you are a candidate for gingival depigmentation. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to make a mouthpiece, which is used to bleach the gums and restore their natural color. If you are deemed a candidate, we’ll work together to select the best time for your surgery. During this process, your dentist will do an evaluation of the color of your gums and help you understand any risks or side effects that may occur during or after treatment.
The next step is choosing the anesthesia that’s right for you. Afterward, our dentists can schedule the procedure for you at a time that suits your needs.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The number of treatments you will need varies from person to person. For some people, one treatment is enough. For others, it may take up to five treatments before the desired result is achieved. The number of sessions needed for a successful outcome also depends on the severity of the gum condition and its location on your gums. It can take six months or more for your gums to completely heal after treatment, so stay patient!
What Should I Do Before Each Appointment?
The dentist will start by cleaning your teeth and removing any plaque or tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. They will then carefully apply a topical anesthetic to numb the gums where you need treatment. Once this is done, they will place a small amount of gel on the area for about 2 minutes, after which time it should have penetrated deeply enough to be effective. The dentist will then gently scrub away the dark pigments in your gum tissue that make your smile less bright and beautiful. You may feel some pressure as they work, but no pain or discomfort should be felt. They will then repeat these steps in other areas as needed until they’ve achieved the desired effect on all of your gums.
How Much Does It Cost?
Gingival Depigmentation is an in-office procedure that can cost upwards of $1,000, depending on the extent of treatment. For example, if you have a small area of gums that is discolored, this may be more affordable at $300-500 per tooth. However, if you have extensive areas of dark gum tissue and it involves teeth removal as well as replacement with implants or dentures then the cost could reach as high as $10,000+. If you are considering having this procedure done please consult your dentist before booking to see what type of insurance coverage you may need to cover the costs.