Gingivectomy Or Gingivoplasty, What Is The Difference?

periodontal treatment

Do you happen to have periodontal disease? Or perhaps you are having problems with your gum tissues? For any gum concerns, your dentist might require you to have special treatments specifically for your gums. These treatments are also known as gingivectomy or gingivoplasty. These gum restoration techniques are the most common procedures available. But how do these two surgical procedures differ from each other?

If you’re wondering which dental procedure is suitable for your gum problem, we are here to help. This article will discuss everything you need to know about gingivectomy or gingivoplasty.

An Overview of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a severe infection of the gums, bones, and tissues responsible for holding your teeth. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease which leads to bacterial infection. Infection often causes tooth loss and gum recession. Early symptoms of gum disease include the following:

  • Gum bleeding
  • Presence of pus or clear fluid along the gums or the gum line
  • Bone loss
  • Gum recession
  • Loose teeth

In earlier stages of periodontal disease, dentists often suggest simple treatments such as root scaling and planing. However, if you face the challenges of diseased gum tissue, your dental care provider may require an advanced and invasive dental procedure.

Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty

When plaque and calculus continue to spread, it quickly forms pockets along your gumlines. These pockets will cause inflammation around your tooth’s enamel. The gaps between your teeth and gums will begin to widen, allowing more bacteria to thrive above the teeth’ roots. If left untreated, the damage intensifies, and the only way to stop it is through gingivectomy.

Gingivoplasty for receding gums is also possible to re-align the gumline. These are less severe gum-related concerns that lean more on the cosmetic nature of oral health. Uneven contouring of your gum line, also known as gummy smiles, can significantly affect your smile’s appearance.

How Do Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty Differ from Each Other?

Many people often interchange gingivectomy and gingivoplasty. This confusion happens because both procedures involve the restoration of gum tissue. However, a gingivectomy procedure involves the direct removal of diseased gum tissue. On the other hand, gingivoplasty focuses more on reshaping the gums. Gingivoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that restores the gums’ function while taking care of their appearance.

Depending on the severity of your periodontal disease, your dentist may suggest both procedures. If combination treatments are necessary, your dentist will provide a treatment plan, whichever works best for your needs.

What Should I Expect During Gingivectomy or Gingivoplasty?

what to expect in treatment
  • If you are about to have a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty, it is best to expect the following steps:
  • Your dentist will perform initial cleaning and plaque removal techniques. If calculus is present, it will be removed through periodontal root planing and scaling.
  • To reduce pain and swelling during the procedure, your dentist will apply a local anesthetic over the area where the surgery will take place. This technique will make your gums feel numb throughout the surgery.
  • Gingivoplasty will take only a few minutes. Through this procedure, shaping and removing gum tissue happen to create an aesthetically-pleasing gum appearance.
  • Before your dental surgeon begins with gingivectomy, he or she will determine your gum pockets’ depth using a probe. This equipment will guide the surgeon with the proper incision areas.
  • During the actual surgical process, there will be a removal of diseased gum tissue. This step is a crucial aspect that can ensure that your gums will regain their normal function.
  • After the procedure, your dentist will place the necessary surgical dressing on the area. This dressing will help in the healing process and prevent any chances of bleeding.

How Long Is the Recovery from Gingival surgery?

Recovery from gingivectomy and gingivoplasty usually takes only a few days to weeks. The healing process will be much faster if you follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions. Below are some tips to help with your recovery:

  • After the anesthesia wears off, you may experience sharp pain. You can take over-the-counter medications to help ease the discomfort.
  • Your gums will bleed for a few days. It is essential to replace dressings or bandages that will help in stopping the bleeding. Your dentist will be the one to inform you when your gums have healed.
  • Soft foods and beverages will be your best friend for a few days or weeks, depending on your gum sensitivity. Hard foods may irritate and damage your gums, prolonging your healing.
  • Apply a cold compress if you feel any irritation and pain along your cheeks, mouth, and jaw area.

Benefits of Gingivectomy

  • It is necessary for the removal of diseased gum tissue.
  • This procedure reduces the presence of gum pockets.
  • The technique is essential for the prevention and control of gum disease.
  • It helps reduce the occurrence of bad breath.
  • Your teeth and jaw bone’s lifespan will increase.

Benefits of Gingivoplasty

  • Correcting common aesthetic concerns
  • Prevents gummy smile
  • Balances uneven gum contour
  • Reduction of exposed root surfaces
  • Removal of gum tissue between teeth

Laser Treatments for Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty

laser treatment options

While these surgeries make use of the invasive procedure, innovative techniques are now available. Electrosurgery units, lasers, and diamond burrs are now possible. However, laser treatments are the most popular treatment option because of their minimal pain and faster recovery time.  

Laser treatments are a great choice when it comes to preservation, regeneration, and restoration. Besides, if you happen to feel anxious at the thought of a scalpel going through your gums, laser gingivectomy and gingivoplasty is your best shot.

During this procedure, the laser will create a thin cut on the tissue along the affected area. It also helps in effectively killing any bacteria that is present. After cutting, the removal of any existing calculus will take place. Instead of undergoing root planing and scaling, the ultrasonic root cleaner will perform the job. Afterward, the procedure ends by using laser energy to help in the sealing process. The use of laser energy also allows the body to heal and prevent bleeding naturally. The laser activates stem cells that are necessary for the generation of new tissues and promotes bone integrity. The healing process takes a shorter time which also helps eliminate further infection.

Wrapping It Up

Gingivectomy and gingivoplasty are slightly invasive procedures necessary to help fight against the progression of periodontal disease. These surgical treatments are essential in your gums’ internal and external restoration and their functions and appearance.

If you consider fixing your gum problems, it is best to consult with your dentist for the best treatment options. You can also share your thoughts about surgical techniques and if you happen to experience dental anxiety with specific surgical equipment. This information is necessary to allow your dentist to create a proper treatment plan to ease your worries.

Our reading resources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/periodontitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354473

https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/gingivectomy

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hw146210

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