December 2020

how to fix a gummy smile 62a20f9da0a46

How to Fix a Gummy Smile

Treatment Options for a Gummy Smile

Treatment of a gummy smile can be life changing. We can all be self-conscious about our smiles, and if you feel you have a gummy smile, you understand how it can affect your confidence and self-esteem. Ideally, when a person smiles, they should only show a few millimeters of teeth (called the Mona Lisa smile). However, a gummy smile means there is an abundance or greater proportion of gum tissue that shows than normal.

There is no cookie cutter cause or solution for most people with a gummy smile. Treatment varies depending on the cause and how much gum tissue is exposed. There are several ways to fix this type of smile that can create an improved quality of life and a more aesthetic appearance.

Gum Contouring Can Help a Gummy Smile

If the cause of your gummy smile is due to an overgrowth of tissue covering your teeth, you may be a good candidate for a gingivectomy. Excess gum tissue can be congenital or caused by medication. An overgrowth of gum tissue usually means you have normal-sized teeth that need to be more exposed by removing excess gum tissue. A gingivectomy will help correct your teeth and prevent them from looking too short. Custom and careful sculpting of your gum tissue will help create average-sized teeth with an adequate amount of gum tissue showing.

Gum contouring in Philadelphia is usually simple and delivers a tremendous outcome for those with a gummy smile. This surgical procedure can typically be done by laser treatment or by using a traditional scalpel and instruments.

Lip Repositioning

Sometimes the lip will rise higher than it should when smiling and speaking. The cause of this is due to hyperactive muscles in the lip. Oftentimes, Botox is used as a non-invasive treatment to help relax the lip. While Botox is often used as a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles and frown lines, it is proven to help relieve a gummy smile almost instantly. The only downsides are the cost and that it requires frequent maintenance. However, most people feel the price tag is worth it to relieve a moderate case of a gummy smile.

Another type of lip repositioning procedure is surgically correcting the lip to create an improved smile line. A small piece of tissue is removed under the lip to help avoid the lip from lifting so high when you smile.

Orthognathic Surgery

When a gummy smile is caused by a protrusion of the upper jaw, it means there is excess maxilla. This type of smile usually presents with a face that may be too long or asymmetrical. To correct a gummy smile, orthognathic surgery is recommended to create a more aesthetic profile and smile. Most people will require some orthodontics to achieve an optimal bite.

This type of treatment helps create a better smile while also providing a more harmonious facial balance. The results are very dramatic and provide life-altering benefits for patients.

Gum Graft

If you have uneven or receding gums, you may be an excellent candidate for a gum graft. This type of surgical procedure significantly benefits patients because it restores a more youthful smile and symmetrical look. Gum grafts will replace lost gum tissue in areas of the mouth that are brushed too hard or suffer from excessive clenching.

Why fix a gummy smile?

The most common reason people request a correction of a gummy smile is insecurity while smiling. It seems trivial that gum tissue can cause self-esteem problems, but for many, it can cause embarrassment. Here are some of the top reasons to correct this type of smile.

  • Inflammation: Excess gum tissue can make it difficult to properly brush your teeth. When this happens, it causes your gums to become swollen and inflamed. Gum contouring or scaling and root planing can help remove bacteria and get your oral hygiene back on track. Sometimes if you have a minor gummy smile, a professional cleaning will help reduce or resolve that look.
  • Gingivitis: Poor oral hygiene is caused by a lack of brushing and flossing. When there is excess gum tissue, bacteria can build up and lead to gingival redness and bleeding. Even with the best hygiene, a gummy smile can sometimes make it difficult to get to those hard-to-brush areas.
  • Periodontal Disease: Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. A gummy smile sometimes causes deep pockets that allow bacteria to accumulate. By correcting this type of smile, you also improve your periodontal health by decreasing your pocket depths and reducing your chances for gum disease.
  • Tooth Decay: If there is excess gum tissue covering your teeth, you may be at an increased risk for tooth decay if food and plaque debris remain. Treatment of a gummy smile can help reduce your chances for cavities and improve your overall oral health.
  • Aesthetics & Confidence: Beauty is certainly subjective, but a gummy smile can have a negative affect on your confidence. Fortunately, there are several solutions to correct this type of smile depending on the cause. Treatment of a gummy smile always creates a more natural-looking smile and an improvement in how you present yourself to others.

Our staff at Bentz Dental Implants & Prosthodontics Center take great pride in helping patients feel comfortable, safe, and welcome. Our goal is to help you bring out your smile. And once we’re done, we guarantee you’ll be back in front of the mirror relishing your new smile.

our top 3 most popular cosmetic dentistry options 62a20fa71320a

Our Top 3 Most Popular Cosmetic Dentistry Options

Which cosmetic dental procedure is right for you?

Dr. Bentz has successfully completed transformative restorative and cosmetic procedures countless times. This has resulted in patients achieving the carefree smile they’ve always dreamed of. But there are three cosmetic dentistry procedures that are the most popular and sought after. Let’s take a look at them and how they can transform your smile.

Missing a tooth? Try a dental implant.

It’s often said that your smile is your first impression, and that includes your teeth. This makes losing your pearly whites not only painful but also disheartening. Luckily, not all is lost for the 178 million Americans missing at least one tooth. Dr. Bentz and his team have both the technology and tools to replace your missing tooth and restore your oral health using dental implants.

An implant consists of a titanium root and porcelain crown. The first step is to implant the artificial root into the jaw, a process known as osseointegration, then attach the crown on top of it. Once the surrounding tissue of the implant heals, the new “tooth” becomes a permanent or removable crown fixture in your mouth.

The ideal candidates for this cosmetic dentistry procedure are non-smokers with good oral hygiene. It’s also important that you have a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, as well as healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.

If you don’t have enough bone tissue, don’t qualify for implants due to bone loss, or want a more affordable dental implant, then the All-on-4® treatment procedure may just be the right fit for you. With this treatment option, Dr. Bentz will use four dental implants to ensure a full-arch dental restoration, cutting procedure time to a single day and greatly reducing recovery time, as well as the need for extensive postoperative care.

Do you have crooked teeth or a gummy smile? Gum contouring can fix that.

Let’s take a step back from teeth and look at the foundation: the gums. Just like your house, your teeth need a firm, appealing foundation to give you that perfect smile, which is why gum contouring couldn’t be absent from our list of most popular cosmetic dentistry options in our Philadelphia office.

If you have a “gummy” smile, you may notice your teeth look shorter, or if you have crooked teeth, you may notice you have an uneven gumline such that your teeth are different heights. Gum contouring can change all of that.

A dentist near you can remove the excess gum tissue and reshape the contours of your gums to lengthen the crowns of your teeth, leaving you with a natural-looking gumline.

What’s more? Gum contouring is a quick and comfortable procedure. Your dentist can use a local anesthetic (or your preferred sedation option) to numb the area. During the surgery, Dr. Bentz will apply painless techniques to quicken the recovery process and ensure little to no postoperative pain or bleeding.

Like most cosmetic dentistry procedures, the ideal candidate needs to be in good oral health, which is why Dr. Bentz will first perform a complete oral assessment and customize your treatment based on his findings.

Discoloration dimming your smile? Teeth whitening to the rescue!

Why is it that, when it comes to teeth, almost all is forgiven if they’re white? You may have noticeable gaps in your smile, but if your crowns are white, that’s what most people will see.

So it’s not surprising that 37 million Americans have used tooth whiteners in 2020 alone. Smokers aren’t ready to kick the habit. Coffee lovers wouldn’t dream of starting the day any other way. And is it even a party without a glass of champagne? We all have something we don’t want to give up, and thanks to some innovative bleaching techniques, our teeth won’t have to pay for our bad habits.

Patients with discolored teeth will first have plaque, tartar, and debris removed from the dental surface to restore their natural appearance. Afterward, Dr. Bentz will use a bleaching agent, like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to break the stain into smaller pieces, which can brighten the teeth by up to 14 shades.

If you prefer to do the procedure at home, Dr. Bentz can provide you with a custom-fitted whitening tray.

Consult with the Bentz Dental team to learn more.

Tooth loss, gummy smiles, crooked teeth, and discoloration are all problems you don’t have to live with because of innovative advancements in cosmetic dentistry techniques.

If you live in the East Norriton area of Philadelphia, Dr. Bentz can help improve the way your teeth look to not only restore function but also make you feel more confident about your smile.

full mouth reconstruction vs smile makeover whats the difference 62a20fb0c3bcd

Full Mouth Reconstruction vs. Smile Makeover — What’s the Difference?

Which procedure is right for you?

Our team at Bentz Dental Implants and Prosthodontic Center understands how rebuilding a smile can have a dramatic impact on one’s life. This is why we offer comprehensive dental care ranging from veneers to dental implants. If you have cosmetic imperfections you want to improve or dental damage from tooth decay and periodontal disease, there are several ways to improve your smile. Depending on your dental needs, budget, and concerns, we offer full mouth reconstruction and complete smile makeovers.

What is a full mouth reconstruction?

Full mouth reconstruction or rehabilitation is the combination of multiple dental specialities and treatment to restore an entire mouth. Treatment is often complex and requires months or years of treatment to complete. Oftentimes, full mouth reconstruction requires a multi-disciplinary approach that may include:

  • Prosthodontics: Can vary from dental crowns to a full mouth of implants
  • Orthodontics: Assists in moving teeth into the correct position so other treatments can be completed
  • Endodontics: May include root canal therapy
  • Periodontics: Treats gum disease, periodontal therapy and maintenance, and dental implants
  • Cosmetic dentistry: Focuses on esthetics, like dental veneers, dental crowns, and cosmetic orthodontics
  • Oral surgery: Assists other areas of dentistry by removing non-restorable teeth

There is a major difference between needing a dental filling or two and a full mouth reconstruction. A reconstruction is typically needed to repair extensive dental damage that may have resulted from tooth decay, periodontal disease, trauma, developmental defects, or failed previous dental work.

Laser dentistry is an advanced dental technology that helps dental specialists remove excess gum tissue, shape gingival contours, and remove pathology lesions. Many people love the idea of laser dentistry because it is painless and requires less healing time from oral surgery and periodontal treatment than traditional scalpels and sutures.

Dental implants are usually a major component of full mouth reconstruction. This is because implants provide a permanent, long-lasting, and natural-looking result compared to bridges and dentures. For someone who is missing all of their teeth, a full mouth of dental implants can be a much more comfortable solution than full dentures. There are several types of dental implants including All-on-4 dental implants or a dental implant-retained bridge to help secure your restorative prosthetic appliances in place. If you are one who worries your removable appliance will shift during eating or speaking, a full mouth of implants may be the right move for you.

How do I know if I am a candidate for full mouth reconstruction?

The best way to find out is to schedule a routine dental visit or consultation to discuss your dental needs. Most people in need of full mouth dental reconstruction are missing many or all of their teeth. These types of patients typically treat missing teeth with dental implants, implant-retained bridges or All-on-4 implant dentures. Depending on the severity of your case, you may also need root canal therapy to help restore severely decayed teeth or orthodontics to help shift teeth to create an aesthetically pleasing smile.

How much does a full mouth reconstruction cost?

In dentistry, there is a common motto that the smaller or simpler the dental work, the more cost-effective treatment is. Full mouth reconstruction that may involve multiple dental specialities and require extensive restorations or surgical procedures can be expensive. As always, costs will depend on your dental insurance, treatment needed, and budget.

What is a smile makeover?

The goal of a smile makeover is to address cosmetic imperfections that may cause a person to feel self-conscious. Similar to full mouth reconstruction, a smile makeover may require the need for multiple dental specialists and may take months to complete. A smile makeover benefits patients looking to improve the shape, color, size, or position of their teeth. The most common types of treatments involved in a smile makeover include:

  • Teeth straightening: One of the most common requests of patients is to straighten their teeth. Clear aligners are a popular option because they are nearly invisible and can be removed during mealtime compared to traditional metal braces. Clear aligners are usually an important component of a smile makeover because to create an aesthetic smile with bondings or veneers, the teeth need to be in the proper position.
  • Teeth whitening: There are very few people who feel their teeth are white enough. It is a common request because of our daily diets of highly staining foods and beverages, like coffee, ketchup, pasta sauce, soy sauce, and soda. Whitening is a simple, cost-effective way to drastically improve a smile. While teeth whitening is usually not permanent, it is quick and non-invasive, which is why many patients request professional in-office and at-home whitening.
  • Dental veneers: Veneers are very thin shells that cover the front portion of your teeth. Very little tooth structure needs to be removed, and a dental veneer can dramatically improve your teeth if you have chips, gaps, discoloration, or size discrepancies. Dental veneers are what people think of when they consider a “Hollywood smile” because they can positively change the way your smile looks and improve your self-confidence.
  • Dental implants: A dental implant can replace one or more missing teeth. If you are missing an anterior tooth in your smile zone, an implant is the most permanent and aesthetic option to create a naturally looking tooth.

How much does a smile makeover cost?

Depending on your needs and budget, a smile makeover can range in costs. Someone who is looking for teeth whitening will have significantly lower costs than a patient who needs cosmetic orthodontics and dental veneers. The best way to figure out your costs and options is to schedule a consultation with your trained team of dentists at Benz Dental Implants and Prosthodontic Center.

botox and tmj what to expect 62a20fb9b463b

Botox and TMJ — What to Expect

Find relief for your TMJ symptoms.

When most people think of Botox treatment, they immediately think of cosmetics and improving facial wrinkles and frown lines. Interestingly, Botox has several medical applications outside of the cosmetic arena that can improve people’s quality of life. Millions of Americans suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which can range from mild to severe in symptoms. Fortunately, modern dental technology offers improvement using Botox for TMJ relief. If you experience TMJ headaches and pain, Bentz Dental Implant and Prosthodontic Center can offer safe, comfortable relief.

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint connects our skull in front of our ears to our lower jaw. It is a unique joint composed of nerves, blood vessels, and bone that are interconnected and dependent upon each other to function properly. Our TMJ provides two important motions that allow us to speak, chew, and yawn comfortably. One is a rotation and the other is a hinge action.

When one experiences TMJ disorder, it means there may be inflammation around the joint that can cause TMJ symptoms like:

  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw clicking and popping
  • TMJ headaches
  • Ear pain
  • Stiff jaw muscles when eating
  • Locking of the jaw

TMJ pain can be caused by problems ranging from chronic grinding to stress to trauma. Sometimes it is caused by other health conditions, like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, because of cartilage destruction. Regardless of the cause, TMJ symptoms can be painful and difficult to manage without proper care.

How does Botox help with teeth grinding?

Botox is a neurotoxin and well-known drug used in cosmetic treatments to reduce frown lines and facial wrinkles. Yet, in dentistry, it has significant benefits for TMJ treatment and migraine headaches. It works as a localized treatment to reduce pain and tension headache symptoms.

When a person grinds their teeth chronically at night, even with the help of a night guard, it can cause severe headaches because your muscles are constantly overworked and overactive. This leads to muscle pain, contractions, and spasms.

Botox works by being injected into the areas around your temporal areas to help relieve muscle contractions. Lactic acids levels are then reduced over the following weeks and months, which is found in overly contracted muscles during headaches. It blocks the electrical signal from the nerve to the muscle so they won’t remain overactive. You will usually notice TMJ pain relief fairly quickly and full effects of Botox after a few weeks.

What can go wrong?

The most common reported side effects are immediate swelling and bruising. These symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few days. Another known adverse side effect is facial asymmetry since Botox is used in cosmetic treatments to alter facial appearance. It is worth going to a dentist with significant experience in administering Botox cosmetically and for medical usage like TMJ disorder to avoid any problems because paralyzed muscles can last up to six months.

Other reported side effects are a temporary headache, muscle weakness, and nausea. These side effects usually appear within a week of treatment.

How often do I need treatment for TMJ?

Patients with TMJ disorder will typically receive treatment two to three times a year because Botox can remain effective for three to five months. Fortunately, Botox treatment can last longer than other types of injectables, like corticosteroids.

In addition to Botox treatment, patients will still require other therapies to aid in pain relief and TMJ disorder management. The most common types of treatment are physical therapy, habit modification, oral appliances, and medications when needed.

How long does it last?

The longevity of Botox treatment can vary from person to person but usually lasts up to five months, which is more effective than other types of short-acting medications and injections. Most people see results after one to two weeks of treatment. The more often you receive Botox treatment for TMJ, the longer the effects will be.

Many people find TMJ pain relief using Botox and discover that it’s a great alternative to TMJ surgery. It is always important to remember that Botox alone may not “cure” your TMJ disorder, but it can provide a much improved quality of life and longer-lasting effects than other types of oral medication.

Will it affect my face wrinkles?

If you receive Botox treatment in an area that has frown lines or wrinkles, you may notice them fade after a few days of treatment. Speak with your skilled dentists at Bentz Dental Implant and Prosthodontic Center about any concerns you may have to put your mind at ease.

While Botox is well known for its anti-wrinkle abilities, if you are suffering day to day because of TMJ disorder, you may be a good candidate for treatment. Botox is a low-risk and non-invasive treatment that can provide long-lasting relief.

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