By Doctor Francis Benguigui
A gummy smile, swollen and painful gums, crooked teeth…These dental problems, which are both uncomfortable and unsightly, worsen with age and are often inter-related. For those who do not wish to resort to orthodontics, there are now quick dental surgery and cosmetic treatments to resolve these problems.
Correcting a gummy smile in one hour
When the upper lip is too short and the gum too low, the gum/lip ratio becomes unbalanced. This is what we call a “gummy smile”, a real source of hang-ups. In very rare cases, this type of smile can make the person look uglier rather than more attractive, as a large amount of gum is exposed. As a result, the sufferer no longer dares to smile, let alone laugh, which can lead to loneliness, sadness and even depression.
This structural flaw can be easily corrected with an hour-long procedure that is carried out in the dentist’s chair. The dental surgeon cuts the gum using a scalpel along the neck of the teeth, then it is lifted up and realigned.
A few stitches are required to hold it in its new position. The thread used is absorbable and, after a few days, the gum will have adhered to its new position. This mild surgery, carried out under local anaesthetic, is not painful, even once the anaesthetic has worn off. It takes less than an hour, causes little bleeding and the result is permanent. If the gummy smile is caused by teeth that are too small, veneers and crowns are required.
Straightening the teeth without orthodontics in three appointments
Crooked teeth are a common problem that affect both the teeth’s aesthetics and their function, because crooked teeth prevent the person from chewing correctly, which in turn can affect their whole digestive system. And from the age of 45, the teeth move and can cross even more; the gums become inflamed and irritated due to this overlapping, which erases the gum space between the teeth. This procedure is therefore both therapeutic and aesthetic. It is important not to wait too long, because if the teeth overlap too much, one or two teeth might need removing. The classic solution is wearing mouthpieces or braces for 18 to 24 moths, which is uncomfortable and requires patience. This is why more and more patients are turning to prosthetic solutions to straighten their teeth quickly and without pain. Another advantage is that there are no costly orthodontic expenses.
During the first appointment, a detailed examination of the teeth is carried out, the procedure is explained and photos are taken. Next, a panoramic x-ray is taken and imprints are taken of the teeth, which will be used to create a plaster mould. A quote is drawn up and presented to the patient.
The second appointment begins with the presentation of the mould, upon which the prosthetist has created a montage to show the patient how their teeth will be positioned and what the final result will look like. The teeth to be treated are then filed down to a minimum. Temporary composite crowns, in a suitable colour, are made on site by the dentist and fitted into the patient’s mouth. The patient can then get back to their everyday life with their temporarily straightened teeth and no need for downtime.
The third and final appointment takes place a week later. The permanent ceramic crowns have been prepared by the prosthetist and made up so that they perfectly match the patient’s natural teeth. The dentist fixes them using a highly resistant glue and they are adjusted to the nearest micron. They are accepted by the mouth after 48 hours and enable the patient to have as solid a bite as natural teeth. Both the aesthetic and functional problems are resolved simultaneously. This treatment is also suitable for people whose tooth edges are worn or chipped.
Dental surgeon, Toulouse Stomatology Faculty – In 1978 he founded a general dental practice in Paris’ 16th district – Founder of the National Institute of Public Heath’s dental department in Abidjan, Ivory Coast – Designated mentor for 6th-year students at the Paris Faculty of Dental Surgery – Post-university course in periodontology, endodontics, occlusodontics, implantology, cosmetic dentistry – Member of the Paris Odontology Society and the French Society of Aesthetic Dentistry.