Last week I excitedly went in for my appointment with my area’s most reputable periodontist. I thought I knew what I needed but was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was wrong. Rather than having another gingivectomy, my case requires something slightly more invasive however it would deliver an instant, more dramatic result: crown lengthening paired with a lip stabilization surgery (also called ‘lip lowering’ or ‘lip repositioning’). He was impressed that I had prepared some before and after photos to show him (Yes, I’m a nerd.) and assured me that my ideal “after” wasn’t too far from a possible reality. Plus my top lip would be fuller and cover most of the exposed gingiva.
I’m all for the crown lengthening and think that it alone will do wonders for my smile. After studying my x-rays and examining under my gums with a measuring probe, Dr. K determined how many millimeters of tissue and bone would need to be removed. I lucked out. Some people have short teeth and the enamel stops at the bone. My enamel actually goes up under the bone making it possible for me to have it removed to expose natural, beautiful teeth (ME? Beautiful teeth?? NO WAY!). This is one reason why some people need porcelain veneers during their crown lengthening process… because they were born with shorter teeth. Just one more thing for me to be thankful for, right?
Here are a few examples of crown lengthening, along with their respective sources, that I pulled from the interwebz.
Please take note that these photos do not belong to me. If you click on the pictures, you’ll be directed to their original source. I chose these examples because the procedures were clearly performed by a doctor who knew what they were doing.
The lip stabilization surgery is something that I’ve contemplated for a while now but always assumed it was way too out of the box to even be considered. I didn’t realize it was such a simple process though! Take a look at some more before and afters I’ve found via Google. In particular, I really like Dr. Farnoosh’s work (my first two examples, and in the past he’s given me permission to link to his website) but he’s on the west coast and I’m on the east, so it’s just out of the question… he might as well be on the other side of the world.
I’m assuming the first patient below had crown lengthening done as well. WOW!
And lastly, this YouTube video.
But as usual, things aren’t as awesome as they sound. There is always a downfall, right? When I shyly mentioned my insecurities to my orthodontist about my “gummy smile” (god, I hate that term and I pray for the chance that I’ll never have to use it again very soon) she tried reassuring me that eventually my lip would move further down as I age. My periodontist confirmed this too.
I get it! But here’s the deal… who in the hell wants to put off having a pretty smile until they’re eligible for a senior citizen discount?? NOT ME. Because let me tell you something about gravity and body parts– you don’t get to pick and choose which ones are assholes first. Pop out a kid and that shit accelerates!
At the rate of the chart above, my mouth might look normal when I’m about 178… I ain’t got time for that!
Regardless of the possible outcome though, people who have never experienced the extreme insecurities that “excessive gingival display” can inflict on everyday life have zero idea how life changing this surgery could be! People like my husband. The guy with freakishly perfect teeth.
He says he loves my smile ‘just the way it is’, and I understand that. I wouldn’t want him to change a damn thing about his appearance, but I also understand that if there was something that he wanted to change that has bothered him his entire conscious life –and there was an easy fix– I’d be okay with that. Within reason of course. Do you get where I’m going with this? Yep. He doesn’t want me to do the surgery.
Though he won’t voluntarily admit it, I think it may be because of my past luck with shelling out tons of cash for, as he sees it, an unachievable result. The crown lengthening alone is $1,800. I believe that after watching me go through all this bullshit with my current orthodontist, he’s lost all hope in cosmetic dentistry, et cetera. Yes, I totally disagree with the notion that orthodontics is purely cosmetic!
Anyway, I’ve got several weeks until my next appointment. Regardless, I will be getting a fiberotomy on one of my rotated teeth. Hopefully by then, I will have convinced him that his “hot wife” can be even hotter.