Will my gums relapse after gum contouring treatment?
I am interested in getting gum contouring done. However, I have read from online articles written by several dentists that there might be chances of relapse. I spoke with my dentist, and she isn't able to confirm whether it will relapse for my case or not. How can a dentist determine the chances of relapse, or is it something that is impossible to predict even with X-rays taken?
Hi tan57580,we can prevent chances of relapse if the dentist ensures that the bone underneath the gums is 3mm below the newly contoured gum margin. If there is too much bone underneath the gums, it will "push" the gums back to its original position, leading to relapse.
The dentist doing the gum recontouring procedure will check on this biologic distance when your gums are numb. We usually use a measuring instrument called a periodontal probe to determine this.
As X-rays are only 2 dimensional, it is usually difficult to predict if bone needs to be removed on that particular tooth surface. Usually, it is best to confirm if bone needs to be removed during the procedure when you are already numb.
Hope this helps! :)
Hi tan57580, thanks for the question. Firstly, there are several reasons for the teeth to appear squarish, which prompt people to seek treatment in order to have a set of teeth with nicer dimensions.
With the right diagnosis, dentists will be in a better position to advise the chances of relapse.
They key term to predict whether the gum will relapse after gum contouring treatment is "Biological Width". The gum needs to be about 3mm away from the bone underneath.
A good way to predict whether the gum will relapse is through a technique called "bone sounding".
X-rays may be helpful to check where the bone level is, and if needed, bone can be removed to ensure the gum has less chance to grow back.
Based on my experiences with laser for gum contouring treatment of altered passive erupted teeth, the gum may bounce back slightly after the 1st treatment due to the amount of gum we may need to contour away for a nicer dimensioned teeth on the 1st visit. In these cases, I will do a touch up about 2 weeks later where I contour a lesser amount of gum tissue. So far, the results have been stable.
Hope that helps, and have a great journey to a nicer smile!