I’m trying to figure out if Invisalign is the right choice for me. My gums are crooked in a couple of spots and it distorts my whole smile. I have a really good relationship with my dentist and I mentioned it to one of the girls the last time I was in, but she just scrunched up her face and said, “Nuh uh” and seemed to brush it off. Based on her reaction, I felt kind of silly wasting the dentist’s time with it, so I didn’t ask him directly, but now I’m back at home again, staring in the mirror and thinking I should go find an Invisalign dentist. I really don’t want to waste anyone’s time with this, though. Am I headed in the right direction with my thought process? — Ellie
First things first, you should never feel uncomfortable talking to your dentist. Knowing the solution is his job, so it’s totally ok for you to approach him with your concerns or talk to him about things you’d like to improve. It’s a shame his staff behaved that way, but it’s not a reflection on you or your question.
In terms of Invisalign, it’s probably not the answer. Orthodontics will straighten your teeth if they’re crooked, but it doesn’t do anything about your gums. More than likely, you’re looking at some kind of reshaping or recontouring of the actual tissue. It’s unclear whether you’re referring to unevenness from one tooth to the next or if the gums are bulky above several. If it’s from one tooth to the next, then he’d do what’s called a gingivectomy (remove some tissue from the ones that stand out more). If the shape of your gums doesn’t look quite right or they’re bulky, it would be called a gingivoplasty, which involves reshaping them. Either procedure is fairly quick and done in-office in a single visit. Healing time is minimal.
If there’s more involved, Invisalign or porcelain veneers could be an option, but it sounds like you’ll get the results you need with a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty. Mention it to your dentist the next time you’re in. You don’t need to remember the names or anything- just show him what areas bother you and describe what you’d like to see. He’ll be able to identify the best routes to get you there. If it’s really bothering you, don’t wait the full six months to have it checked out. Book a consultation and just tell the office you have cosmetic questions.
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Stephen Doan. Find out more about the services he provides by visiting his La Jolla cosmetic dental website.