What Is Laser Gum Depigmentation?
Laser gum depigmentation (lightening) is a treatment that uses a dental laser to lighten areas of comparatively dark gingival tissue, called gingival hyperpigmentation. This process is designed to give the gums a more uniform appearance and improve the overall aesthetics of the smile.
There are many reasons that dark pigmentation can develop in areas along the gumline, even when the gingival tissue is in excellent health. At The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we have had many patients seek help in correcting the appearance of gingival hyperpigmentation with advanced laser dentistry techniques. Our experienced cosmetic dentist, Robert Rioseco, DMD, FAGD, uses the Biolase® Waterlase laser to quickly and effectively reduce the prominence of dark spots on the gums without the need for invasive periodontal surgery. After treatment and a period of swift healing, patients can smile confidently without worrying that their gums appear unhealthy or unusual.
If you are considering laser gum lightening treatment, we invite you to explore the informational sections provided below or contact our office:
What Causes Dark Gums (Gingival Hyperpigmentation)?
There are many reasons darkened gum tissue may appear that do not indicate disease or poor hygiene; however, it is important to undergo an examination to ensure that gum disease or other pathology is not the cause. Once active disease has been ruled out, it may be determined that smoking, genetic predisposition, certain medications, or other factors are at the root of your darkened gums. In some cases, the gums may have been permanently discolored by past infection or tissue damage.
What Are the Benefits of Laser Gum Depigmentation?
Lightening dark areas of the gums with laser gum depigmentation offers many aesthetic and treatment benefits to patients, especially when compared to more traditional surgical methods. With the Biolase® Waterlase:
- The process is virtually painless for the majority of individuals
- Dark pigmentation can be precisely targeted for treatment
- Laser treatment can be completed quickly
- There is no bleeding during or after treatment
- Recovery after treatment is typically swift
- There is no increased risk of infection
Of course, the greatest potential advantage is the final result—beautiful, healthy-looking gum tissue that is uniform in color. Dr. Rioseco may perform laser gum depigmentation on its own or in combination with other cosmetic dentistry treatments for a more comprehensive smile makeover.
What Happens During Laser Gum Depigmentation?
To begin treatment, Dr. Rioseco administers the appropriate local anesthetic to mitigate potential discomfort while applying the laser to the gums. Most patients only require a topical anesthetic. When the tissue is numb, Dr. Rioseco precisely treats the darkened areas of the gumline for a lighter appearance. The length of your treatment will depend on how much hyperpigmented tissue needs to be addressed. During your consultation with Dr. Rioseco, he can give you an approximate estimate of how long you can expect your session to take.
Is There a Recovery Period After Laser Gum Depigmentation?
Following your treatment it’s possible to experience mild gum sensitivity or discomfort, which should dissipate quickly. You may eat and drink normally after the procedure if you feel comfortable doing so. Dr. Rioseco usually suggests being careful with your gums while you eat, brush, and floss—just to be on the safe side.
What Results Can I Expect After Laser Gum Lightening?
It usually takes approximately two weeks for the full results of your treatment session to be apparent. The majority of patients can expect the treated areas of their gums to appear much lighter and pinker. For individuals with very dark hyperpigmentation, a secondary touchup treatment may be recommended to achieve optimal results. Fortunately, the results of laser gum lightening can be long-lasting when the gums are properly cared for. It is important to stop smoking and using other tobacco products if you wish to maintain your results.
How Much Does Laser Gum Depigmentation Cost?
During your consultation, Dr. Rioseco will assess your needs and develop a customized laser treatment that can meet your goals. He can also provide you with a comprehensive price quote for treatment. You may choose to only treat the portion of your gums that is visible when you smile to keep costs down. If you are interested in exploring the dental financing options we accept through trusted third-party lenders like CareCredit® and Lending Club Patient Solutions, the experienced members of our office team will be happy to help you get the information you need.
If you would like to learn more about laser dentistry or want to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rioseco, we invite you to contact our office.