Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
US
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

The gummy smile dilemma

Dr Stuart Frost illustrates an innovative treatment for an often-untreated condition

Gummy smile patients have always presented orthodontists with a huge dilemma. For many years, I would feel that churn in my stomach when a gummy patient would show up to my practice for a consultation because the only clear path to truly correct the gumminess was braces and surgery. My choices were to mention it to the patient or choose to just ignore the gumminess and present a treatment plan that just lines the teeth up.

The majority of gummy smile patients that came for consultations didn’t really list their gummy smile as a chief complaint because most didn’t know there was something that could be done about it. Until the last decade, correction of the gummy smile has been under-researched and lacking in innovation.

Often these patients are treated by lining up the teeth and creating a beautiful straight smile, leaving the gumminess and feeling happy when the patient really smiles and shows an acre of gums. Just a few millimetres of gum-show can distract even the most beautifully treated orthodontic case. Herein lies the dilemma; treat it or ignore it!

For orthodontists, do we offer an invasive treatment plan because we know how it can positively affect the patient’s life but run the risk of them declining treatment? Or do we settle with routine care, doing the best we can without addressing the elephant in the room?

These cases have always been extremely difficult to treat, and even when we attempt to treat them, the path of treatment can seem unclear on how to achieve a desirable finish without compromising the smile for less gum-show. Historically, the only effective option for correcting gummy smile cases has been jaw surgery, specifically taking a wedge out of the maxilla in order to impact via LeFort surgery, thus eliminating excess gum-show. When most patients are presented with this type of treatment plan, most decline after hearing the word ‘surgery’. This may be due to high risks associated with surgical intervention, high cost, or a combination of these objectives. So, from the patients’ standpoint, correcting their gummy smiles feels hopeless. An alternative method of treatment should be considered to obtain impaction and correct the gummy smile with less cost, less risk and stunning results.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Orthodontic Practice - Sept Oct 2019
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - Sept Oct 2019
FREE
Read Now!
Getting free sample issues is easy, but we need to add it to an account to read, so please follow the instructions to read your free issue today.
Email Address

View Issues

About Orthodontic Practice

Sept / Oct Orthodontic Practice 2019