Tag Archives: gum contouring

Can Invisalign Straighten My Gums?

I’ve never been happy with my smile. My front teeth are a little crooked and my gums are uneven. I was thinking of getting Invisalign but wondered if it would work for my gums too. I’m a little embarrassed to ask my dentist in case it’s a stupid question.


Dear Bethany,

A woman placing in her Invisalign aligners

When it comes to the health of your gums and teeth, there are no stupid questions so never be afraid to ask your dentist anything. He should be happy to answer. If he’s not, you need a different dentist. Invisalign is a great option for straightening teeth without anyone else knowing. They’re invisible even at a conversational distance. If you’re a good candidate then it will do a great job with your crooked front teeth. What it won’t do is straighten your gums. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t be straightened.

For that, your dentist can do a couple of things. If you’re referring to unevenness from one tooth to the next, then he’d do what’s called a gingivectomy. That simply means he’d remove some tissue from the gums that stand out more. It’s a simple procedure.

If the shape of your gums doesn’t look quite right or they’re bulky, then your dentist will perform a gingivoplasty. That’s just a big word for reshaping. This is also a simple procedure. Both are done in-office in one visit. I’d recommend taking care of the gums first and then getting your Invisalign done.

An Alternative to Invisalign

If there’s more than just the crookedness of the front teeth which bother you, there’s another option. Porcelain veneers can give you a complete smile makeover. Veneers can change everything about your smile—the shape, the size, the color, even the character.

Unlike Invisalign, which can be done by just about any dentist, a complete smile makeover will require an expert cosmetic dentist. Otherwise, you could end up with very disappointing results. Look on aacd.com to find an accredited dentist in your area.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Why Didn’t My Porcelain Veneers Work?

I was very excited to get porcelain veneers. I was told they could make my smile taller and wider and make my gums look even.  That’s what my dentist and I discussed. Unfortunately, that isn’t what I ended up with. Don’t get me wrong. the veneers look good, but nothing has changed the size of my teeth or my gums, which you can still see when I smile. Why didn’t they work? Were my expectations too high?

Samantha B. – Washington


Your expectations of porcelain veneers weren’t too high. I’d say your expectations for your dentist were.  Porcelain veneers can widen your smile, as well as many other things. However, the solution for your issue would have included gum contouring.  Additionally, it would have had to have been done before the veneers were made, not after.

It’s likely your dentist is a great family dentist who dabbles in cosmetic work. He doesn’t have any real expertise. You could talk to him about re-doing them, but I’m not sure he’d really know what to do. It sounds like you’ll likely have to have them re-done by someone with more artistic and technical training.

If I were in your place, I’d look for someone who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

This blog is brought to  you by Dr. Mike Malone.