Tomorrow I’ll be going in for a consultation with my area’s most reputable periodontist to inquire about undergoing a fiberotomy procedure. While I’m there we’ll also discuss the possibility of having a second gingivectomy. I’m more excited about the latter because of the drastic difference it could make in my smile.
If you’re unfamiliar with these terms, I’ll explain: A gingivectomy, in short, is a near-painless procedure where the doctor basically lasers away excess gum tissue to contour your teeth. I know gingivectomies are done for other health related issues too, but this is why I’m wanting one. Solely for aesthetic purposes. And from Wikipedia, a fiberotomy “is an orthodontic surgical procedure designed to sever the gingival fibers around a tooth. It usually reduces the tendency to relapse of tooth rotations corrected by braces or other treatments. The most frequently encountered post-orthodontic problem is the retention of re-established tooth position. Relapse (drifting of the tooth back to its position prior to orthodontic correction) may occur anywhere, but it is often associated with teeth that have undergone rotation (twisting) as part of the orthodontic therapy. A fiberotomy involves the detachment of the fibers that attach the tooth to the bone via the gum. The fibers act much like twisted rubber bands and releasing the tension between the fibers and the tooth reduces the forces that attempt to pull the tooth back to its original position. It is performed near the completion of the orthodontics and is shown to be effective in preventing the relapse of teeth. To perform this procedure, the area around the tooth is numbed and simple cuts are made along the gum to sever the fibers; this procedure is painless as long as the patient takes an analgesic after the numbing has worn off.”
I’m not so worried about the healing process with the gingivectomy because I experienced my first one as a nine-year-old kid when I went for a teeth cleaning. While I was there, my dentist asked my mom if the procedure was something we’d be interested in and of course I said yes. I was tired of the little assholes at school calling me gummy bear.
I remember returning to class not too long afterward. No pain. I was still growing then, so my dentist could only remove so much and it obviously wasn’t enough.
Now the fiberotomy on the other hand… that one seems pretty scary. I just tried watching a YouTube video of an actual procedure… I got about 14 seconds in, and then immediately got the hell outta there. Nope nope nope. Cannot watch that! I’m no sissy when it comes to dental shots and procedures, but that’s probably because I’ve never actually seen what goes on- and I’m not about to start now.
Here’s a more G-rated animation that will only turn your stomach just slightly.
Also, here are side by side pictures of how I’d like my gums to be contoured.
This after picture is the product of some pretty shoddy photoshop. I used the liquify tool which is basically just pushing around pixels so the specular highlights on my teeth are in unnatural spots… this is merely an idea. Of course, whether we can do this or not is contingent upon the anatomy of my actual bone. My fingers are crossed. Most people have to pair this procedure with veneers which is something I definitely don’t want. I’m not even considering it an option.
I’ll report back tomorrow with what he says!