New Technique To Correct A Gummy Smile
Recently, several case reports about gummy smile reduction have been published utilizing a cutting-edge, minimally invasive surgical technique. This surgical technique has been coined Mucosal Coronally Positioned Flap or Lip Repositioning. The goal of this surgical procedure is to reduce the amount of travel that the upper lip has thereby, reducing the amount of gum tissue that is exposed when a patient smiles. Excess gingival display or ‘gummy smile’ can be attributed to multiple contributing factors, including altered passive eruption, hyper-mobile lip, short upper lip, and vertically maxillary excess. Until recently, there have been inadequate treatment options for patients that present with upper teeth that have proper length, either naturally or post-surgical treatment with esthetic crown lengthening. These options included an extremely invasive and expensive orthognathic procedure or botox injections. The problems with botox injections include having to re-inject every 3 months and increased tolerance to the injections.
I have blogged about this topic before, but I haven’t presented a case that I’ve treated with before and after pics. The current patient was referred to me for gingivitis, but I noticed immediately that she had excess gingival display. After discussing all treatment options with the patient, we decided that a lip repositioning procedure would be ideal for her situation. I performed the procedure and re-evaluated healing over approximately 8 weeks. The patient reported minimal discomfort during initial healing and no major complications. After 8 weeks of healing, surgical outcome included approximately 75% reduction in the amount of gingiva displayed when the patient smiled. The patient was extremely excited about this outcome, and reported that she was no longer self conscious about her smile.