Gingivectomy 101: Understanding the Procedure and Its Benefits

So you’re in the middle of your smile transformation with braces, BRIUS® or Invisalign® and start to notice an offsetting feature to your budding new smile. It may be unnoticeable to others but every night when you floss it’s a cause for concern, that little tab of extra gum tissue around one tooth or two just seems to throw off the balance of your smile.

Not to worry! You may remember that during your first visit, Dr. Matsumoto discussed a possible gingivectomy with you. This is the part in your smile journey where it’s a good idea to dive into gingivectomy 101 so you can understand how it may benefit you and familiar with the gingivectomy procedure steps.


First, what’s a gingivectomy?

We know it sounds a little complex, but the meaning is actually simple! “Gingiva” means “gums” while the “ectomy” part is Latin for “i cut out”, referring to a surgical removal of gum tissue.

When this simple dental procedure is complete, your gum line will be reshaped to give you a harmonious balance of gum and teeth for a dazzling smile. While also helping improve your oral health!

As a Dual-Trained Board-Certified Orthodontist and Periodontist, Dr. Matusmoto is highly experienced in performing gingivectomies, especially on those in orthodontic treatment. So who better to go to for your comprehensive smile needs than him?


What’s the difference between a gingivectomy vs gingivoplasty?

A gingivoplasty focuses solely on reshaping and recontouring your existing gum tissue without removing any gum tissue. While a gingivectomy includes removing excessive gum tissue and reshaping what’s left.

But how exactly does a gingivectomy work? Let’s break it down!


What do the gingivectomy procedure steps look like?

Step 1: Gum evaluation

Before beginning your gingivectomy, Dr. Matsumoto will do a thorough gum exam. Noting where there is excessive gum tissue and how much at each point. This helps him make a solid plan of how to efficiently perform your procedure and give you the best gum and smile results.

Step 2: Apply local anesthetics

Since a gingivectomy is a simple dental procedure, most patients find they’re comfortable with just the use of local anesthetics. Dr. Matsumoto will administer a local anesthetic to numb your gums and surrounding tissues. Our team will wait about 5 to 10 minutes while they take effect and then begin!

Step 3: Dr. Matsumoto makes incisions

Now Dr. Matsumoto is ready to make a few precise incisions to remove your excess gum tissue. We’re proud to use modern surgical techniques to perform this step! This helps Dr. Matsumoto efficiently perform your procedure, reducing discomfort and procedure length while maximizing your smile results!

Step 4: Contouring

Now that your excess gum tissue is removed, Dr. Matsumoto will shape the remaining tissue to give you an aesthetically pleasing and balanced smile! This is where the science and art of dentistry combine as Dr. Matsumoto will carefully mold your gums to show a healthy amount in proportion to your teeth.


What is my gingivectomy healing time?

Because a gingivectomy is a simple surgery, you can enjoy a quick recovery!

A week is the average gingivectomy healing time, but this can vary depending on how extensive your procedure is and how well you follow post-op instructions. It’s crucial during your recuperation time to practice proper oral hygiene to keep bacteria from your surgical sites and allow your gums to fully heal.


Should I wait to get a gingivectomy after braces?

If you’ve chosen Matsumoto Orthodontics & Periodontics for your braces, Brius, or Invisalign journey, Dr. Matsumoto will include your gingivectomy in your treatment plan.

At each check-in appointment, we’ll monitor the readiness of your budding new smile and health of your gums until it’s time. (Typically this will be what we call a “phase” in your treatment so you’ll have a general idea of when Dr. Matsumoto thinks it’s best to do your gingivectomy so you can experience the best possible smile results).


Still have questions about gingivectomy procedure steps?

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our orthodontist office in Wilmington, NC.

Our dual-trained and board-certified orthodontist and periodontist, Dr. Matsumoto has years of experience in performing successful gingivectomies and hundreds of beautiful smile transformations.

Unlock the full potential of your smile! Let’s get started with a complimentary, no-risk consultation at our Porters Neck office in Wilmington, NC. Request yours today!


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