You probably know that the majority of an iceberg is actually under the surface of the water, which is where referring to something as just the tip of the iceberg comes from. Your teeth are not like an iceberg, and yet there can still be enough of the tooth beneath the surface of your gums to reveal. But why would you want to display the parts of your teeth, that have been concealed beneath your gums?
1. Tooth-to-Gum Ratio
Revealing a greater surface area of your teeth by removing gingival tissue is known as a gum lift or crown lengthening. It's a cosmetic dentistry procedure designed for those who simply feel that their teeth are too small and that their overall smile has an undesirable tooth-to-gum ratio.
2. Gingival Tissue Removal
Your dentist will remove a tiny fraction of your gingival tissue to create the illusion that your teeth are larger, even though their root-to-tip height has not been altered. Some discomfort can be expected, but it will be minor. You can generally manage this discomfort using over-the-counter pain relief, and your dentist might issue a prescription for medicated mouthwash to assist the healing process. This has antiseptic qualities while being less abrasive than a standard ethanol-based household mouthwash.
3. A Precise Removal
While the process itself is fairly simple, it might be that you don't have enough buried tooth surface to make a tangible difference. The amount of gingival tissue to be removed is calculated with absolute precision so that the tooth's periodontal ligaments and dental nerve are not exposed. What if the amount of gingival tissue that can safely be removed from your gums is insufficient to achieve the desired result?
4. Dental Crowns
For some patients, a gum lift can be performed in conjunction with dental crowns. The surface area of the teeth is increased, and the teeth themselves are given an increased vertical dimension with the addition of dental crowns. This is generally necessary when a patient's teeth have worn down and weakened, as opposed to a patient with naturally small teeth. Having said that, dental crowns can be used to increase the size of teeth, whether their disproportionately small size is natural, or has occurred throughout many years.
Small teeth, a gummy smile, an undesirable tooth-to-gum ratio—you can call it what you like, but it's a cosmetic issue that can easily be rectified. Contact a local cosmetic dentistry to learn more.