Gingivoplasty. Definition. Role
In order to have complete, healthy and functional dental arches, besides taking care of your teeth, you also need to take care of your gums.
A sore or unpleasant-looking gum is both an esthetic and a functional impediment.
Interventions to correct abnormalities of the dento-maxillary apparatus include the gum reshaping procedure known as gingivoplasty.
This operation reshapes the morphology of the gum tissue to fit the normal contour.
Effectiveness of gingivoplasty
Gingivectomy is the removal, sectioning, reshaping of a portion of gingiva found to be in excess or interfering with the optimal functionality of the dento-maxillary apparatus. By performing this maneuver, the remaining gum is shaped to have a natural appearance.
The existence of periodontal pockets: when the patient suffers from periodontal disease, the bone underneath the gum recedes, depriving it of the support it needs.
The gum becomes flaccid and retains bacteria at the interface with the tooth.
Through the gingivoplasty procedure, the soft tissue is rearranged so that it becomes firmly attached to the underlying bone to recreate the seal that prevents bacterial penetration.
Regaining the seal also prevents food infiltration, which is a factor in tooth mobility and inflammation.
Teeth with carious processes destroying the crown: a tooth is considered to be preservable, i.e., it can be kept on the arch, as long as its crown is beyond the gum line.
However, in the case of massive coronal destruction, when the gingiva covers the hard portion, gingivectomy (cutting) and gingivoplasty procedures can be used to perform “coronal elevation”, i.e., to restore the enamel margins above the gingiva, obviously with the possibility of preserving the tooth.
Precautions before and after gingivoplasty
The boundary between the tooth and the gum is often the site of bacterial proliferation, being an area frequently neglected by the patient but also more difficult to brush.
Gingivoplasty is a surgical operation with a high risk of infection, which is why the oral cavity must be sanitized before starting the operation.
This means the thorough removal of all food or bacterial deposits that may jeopardize further healing of the gums.
The oral cavity is cleaned by scaling followed by professional brushing.
Following the procedure, the patient should pay particular attention to the food eaten, avoiding hard foods that may damage the gums. The dentist will also give the patient advice on oral hygiene, as the gums will be more fragile for another 2-3 months after the procedure. Only after this period is healing considered complete.
Procedures for gingivoplasty
Classical: the scalpel is used, under local anesthetic.
Modern: it is possible to use laser which has a number of advantages over scalpel. Bleeding is minimal due to the cauterizing effect of the laser and coagulation and scarring are promoted, making the whole healing process shorter.
Also, the risk of severing neighboring structures is reduced, handling is easy and the duration of the procedure is reduced.
Gingivoplasty is a technique with many advantages, used more and more frequently, which can considerably influence the life of teeth and the preservation of healthy arches.
Adequate pre-operative preparation and adherence to the post-operative instructions give satisfactory results for both practitioner and patient.