All about Gum Lifts, Gum Contouring: Gingivectomy and Gingival Plastic Surgery

In this blog we cover the best questions asked about gum lift and contouring surgery. Don’t hesitate to contact us and book an appointment to discuss how to improve the appearance of your smile.


  1. What is Gingival Plastic Surgery and Why Do it?

Gum lift procedures and gum contouring is also known as a Gingivectomy or Gingival Plastic Surgery. This is cosmetic surgery that removes excess gum tissue in a patient who has a ‘gummy smile’ i.e., where the gum is very visible.

The procedure is also undertaken to restore a receding gum line, modify gum lines and used to rectify the visible impact of gum disease. If gums rest too low or too high on the teeth, gum contouring surgery is often the solution to creating the perfect smile. The procedure can dramatically improve the appearance of the shape, size and appearance of your teeth.

In some cases, excess gum will make it difficult for the patient to close their mouth completely. In other cases, small lips, long maxillary alveolar bone housing the roots of upper teeth, periodontitis (serious gum infection), crooked and protruded teeth, or the amount of hard and soft tissue can create smile issues. In these circumstances, many patients are motivated to invest in a simple gum lift or contour treatment.

Gum lifts and contours are recognised as low-risk cosmetic dentistry undertaken by a surgeon to improve the look and aesthetics of your smile by ensuring the gum line of your teeth is in the best possible position to show off your teeth. At Smile Forever we have undertaken thousands of these procedures.

The combination of gum lifts with veneers, crowns or teeth whitening treatments is growing in popularity as more individuals invest in their smiles.

  1. What is the process of a gum lift?

The cosmetic gum procedure is quick and relatively painless. The gum area around the front teeth is usually the area corrected, as this is the most visible section of your smile.  The initial consultation allows us to hear what you are looking to achieve, explain the procedure, answer any questions you may have, and illustrate what your new gum line will look like.

The actual gum lift procedure can usually be completed in one visit, where the gum tissue is numbed before it is trimmed and reshaped with special instruments. The gum tissue can also be separated from the bone, if necessary, so that the bone can be shaved down. The gum tissue is then stitched back into the new position.

Pain relief medication for the discomfort and swelling is provided so you can get back to normal life as soon as possible.

  1. Is the gum lift surgery painful?

Surgical gum lifts are carried out with the use of a local anaesthetic, or under twilight sedation, so no pain is felt during the procedure.  After the treatment, the pain can be easily managed with the medication we provide.

  1. Do gums grow back after gum lift?

The results of the gum lift procedure are permanent and do not need to be repeated as any excess gum tissue that is removed to reposition the gum line and reveal more of the teeth will not grow back. Typically, gums do not grow back after being contoured and shaped. Maintaining and cleaning the teeth regularly can help prevent further irritation or recession from occurring.

  1. How long does it take to have a gum surgery?

The length of time for a gum lift or contour surgery depends on the procedure being undertaken. To shape and secure the tissue around your teeth we usually require 1 to 2 hours in the surgery.  Dr Jason Condello will provide you with detailed information about the procedure planned for you, and explain how long this will take and what to expect after the procedure.

  1. How long does gum lift take to heal?

Post procedure healing time ranges from one week to ten days.

  1. How do I care for my mouth after a gum lift?

We recommend to stay away from sticky or spicy foods, and anything that will irritate the gums while they are healing. Patients need to pay extra special attention to their daily dental care during the healing process and use antibacterial mouthwash, being very gentle when brushing and flossing teeth.

  1. What are the risks of gum lifts and contouring surgery?

No surgery is without risks and the things we look out for are:

  • Allergic reaction to the anaesthetic (rare)
  • Relapse of gum tissue

As with any cosmetic procedure, the end result depends on the skill of the surgeon. Dr Jason Condello has undertaken thousands of cosmetic dental procedures and recommends you do your homework and make sure you are comfortable with the ability and experience of any surgeon you enlist to undertake your procedure. Ask about the training they have had in cosmetic dentistry and ask to see photos of the work they have done, to make sure you like what you see.

  1. How much does it cost?

Gum lifts and contouring treatments cost approximately $600 for a single tooth lift.  If you are having all of your front teeth done at once it could cost around $3,000. Your health insurance may cover some of the cost for gum surgery if it is deemed to be a necessary medical procedure. We can provide a quote so that you are aware of all out of pocket expenses and make an informed decision about your investment before proceeding with the procedure.

Contact Dr Jason Condello at Smile Forever Dental for more information, and advice about achieving your perfect smile.

Call and book an appointment today on 9321 3071 or click HERE to schedule an appointment.