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Thread: Surgery to correct a gummy smile

  1. #1
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Default Surgery to correct a gummy smile

    I know I sound crazy, but I am planning on getting surgery to fix my gummy smile. I went to a well known (= expensive) orthodontist in southern California to get straight teeth and a perfect bite to help with the wear of my teeth. You definitely get what you pay for, because my teeth look nice and are healthy. Unfortunately, I have a gummy smile due to a high lip line. So even though my teeth look nice, my lip line ruins my smile. Too much gum shows and it distracts from my smile.

    I am aware of my high lip line, so when I smile for pictures, I try to keep my lip from raising up too far. The problem is that a lot of times I laugh or smile and my lip goes up too far, making me feel self conscious. Also, I have gorgeous lips, not bragging, but it's the truth. They are full, well defined and people think I paid for them. Well, my upper lip thins out badly when I smile because my lip line is so high. So it makes it look like I have no upper lip!

    I have been to 5+ dentists and they suggest these options:

    1) Pretty much breaking my jaw and surgically placing it higher so my gums don't show as much. I would NEVER do this!!!


    2) Cut my gums and put veneers on my teeth. Which, for me, would make my teeth look long and horse-like. Plus I don't want to replace any of my teeth, they are real and healthy. I want to keep them for as long as possible.

    3) Botoxing the upper lip so it won't raise up too high when I smile. I want something permanent though, I don't want to get botox injects several times a year!

    So I have been researching for months and I finally found a periodontist that does surgery for gummy smiles. He cuts the upper lip and places it lower along the gums, so less gum shows and the lip doesn't go up too high. It's called lowering the high lip line. It is a 40 minute surgery, you stay awake the whole time, have a little swelling and are back to normal within a week. Even though this surgery has been around for decades, I can't find anyone around here in Southern California other than him.

    The periodontist is located in Beverly Hills, CA and the surgery costs anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 depending on how bad your lip line is. I sent him my pictures and he called me personally. We spoke for about 10 minutes about my options and what he could do for me. I think I am going to do the surgery this coming June. He said it will probably be $3,000 to $5,000 for me. I think it's worth it for so many reasons, my husband thinks my smile isn't that bad, but supports me and has agreed to let me do whatever I feel I need.

    What do you all think?

    Sometimes when I smile I look like Jennifer Garner here and I look like I have no upper lip like her. I think my teeth look a bit nicer though, lol. ETA: THIS IS JENNIFER GARNER:






    Here are before and after pictures of this surgery, you can find more here: Lip Lowering to Treat Gummy Smile – Beverly Hills Dentist Dr. Alex A. Farnoosh
























    This is his website: Beverly Hills Dentist / Periodontist for Your Perfect Smile
    Last edited by DeadDwarf; November 20th, 2008 at 04:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    I think you look amazing. If you want a fix, I would opt for retalyne, or another lip plumper for the top lip, you cant really see that much of your gums but if your top lip were alittle fuller then you wouldnt notice it at all. They can alos do a permanent fix on your upper lip, I think they use mesh to fill it. Anyway, you are too cute and you may not want to do a thing.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I don't understand where he cuts the lip to make it longer. Is there a scar or does it effect you upper lip?
    For heavens sake-do NOT get mesh added to your upper lip-trout mouth danger!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  4. #4
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    ^ LOL, that picture IS Jennifer Garner. (hehe) I was posting her picture to give you an example of how my gums look when I smile too. Sorry, I wasn't clear!


    I totally can't get lip plumpers, my lips are full already. This person's full lips are smiliar to my lips when I am not smiling, if I made the upper lip look bigger, I would look like a freak!


  5. #5
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    I don't understand where he cuts the lip to make it longer. Is there a scar or does it effect you upper lip?
    For heavens sake-do NOT get mesh added to your upper lip-trout mouth danger!
    They cut under the lip, like in the mouth. And reposition it lower. It's all orally done.

    You can see a picture of it here:

    Lip Surgery Repositioning Upper Lip and gingival tissues to reduce gummy smile look Southfield MI Periodontist Dentist Dr Nemeth


    And here are more before and after pictures:

    Periodontist Southfield Michigan Periodontics Dental Implants Periodontal Dentist Southfield MI

  6. #6
    Elite Member HelpMeRhonda's Avatar
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    I wanna see YOUR smile... take a pic of just your smile..then we'll tell ya.
    I don't really understand the procedure.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    They cut under the lip, like in the mouth. And reposition it lower. It's all orally done.

    You can see a picture of it here:

    Lip Surgery Repositioning Upper Lip and gingival tissues to reduce gummy smile look Southfield MI Periodontist Dentist Dr Nemeth
    Well it worked for that girl.. she looks better.
    It looks painful.
    Last edited by Tati; November 20th, 2008 at 06:13 PM.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    They cut under the lip, like in the mouth. And reposition it lower. It's all orally done.

    You can see a picture of it here:

    Lip Surgery Repositioning Upper Lip and gingival tissues to reduce gummy smile look Southfield MI Periodontist Dentist Dr Nemeth
    Ok -I see. That looks easy! Although maybe a few pained days-go for it!! This bothers you-I fully support your decision. You have a lot of life left-live it looking at you best!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    That sounds pretty basic.. they just cut along the inside of the lip where it joins the upper pallete, and stitch it lower?

    Pfft. That's nothin, it would heal quickly. it's sound like less of an ordeal than getting a tooth pulled.
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  9. #9
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    That sounds pretty basic.. they just cut along the inside of the lip where it joins the upper pallete, and stitch it lower?

    Pfft. That's nothin, it would heal quickly. it's sound like less of an ordeal than getting a tooth pulled.
    Yeah, that's all there is to it. Sucks it costs so much, but you always get what you pay for!

    Quote Originally Posted by HelpMeRhonda View Post
    I wanna see YOUR smile... take a pic of just your smile..then we'll tell ya.
    I don't really understand the procedure.
    Oh god, I don't know. I'm so embarassed! LOL
    Last edited by Tati; November 20th, 2008 at 06:15 PM.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member Mamamia's Avatar
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    I have the same problem. I have been thinking about fixing my gum line too, but didn't know the procedure, so your post provided a wealth of information for me here to wade through. Please keep us posted as to what you decide to do.

  11. #11
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    I'm so glad it helped you! I have hated my gummy smile since I was around 11. It's horrible when I look back on all my scrapbooks and feel crappy when I see my smile.

    It really depresses me to be honest. And when every dentist shot me down by saying I had to get horse veneers or jaw surgery, I went home pretty sad. I kept googling for other options and that's when I discovered this procedure, which is great because it's simple, permanent and I get to keep my teeth!

    I have found a few other periodontists who might offer the same procedure and they are located in Los Angeles and Orange County. It seems to be so rare though, most dentists don't offer it because it's a dental plastic surgery. I plan to call them too and will update you all when it becomes more official.


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    DD, the botox is no big deal. After about 6 months, you wil;l have totally unlearned the mannerism. Then you only have to have it every 6-8 months. And it takes 2 seconds, not like the cut and stitch.

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    Elite Member Belinda's Avatar
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    I think you should go for it, hopefully you'll be able to find a periodontist that is closer to where you live and can do the procedure.

    Can't wait to see the pictures of your new smile once you've healed.

  14. #14
    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post
    DD, the botox is no big deal. After about 6 months, you wil;l have totally unlearned the mannerism. Then you only have to have it every 6-8 months. And it takes 2 seconds, not like the cut and stitch.

    I'm not worried about the pain, I guess I jiust don't want something that requires maintenance like botox.

    It adds up if I have to pay $500, twice a year. Let's say the surgery is $5,000, after 5 years of botox I will be paying more than the surgery. Botox will end up costing more in the long run, right? I don't know if it makes financial sense......

  15. #15
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    I'm so glad it helped you! I have hated my gummy smile since I was around 11. It's horrible when I look back on all my scrapbooks and feel crappy when I see my smile.

    It really depresses me to be honest. And when every dentist shot me down by saying I had to get horse veneers or jaw surgery, I went home pretty sad. I kept googling for other options and that's when I discovered this procedure, which is great because it's simple, permanent and I get to keep my teeth!

    I have found a few other periodontists who might offer the same procedure and they are located in Los Angeles and Orange County. It seems to be so rare though, most dentists don't offer it because it's a dental plastic surgery. I plan to call them too and will update you all when it becomes more official.

    Do it,do it,do it! After reading the thing,all alarm I was feeling is gone. This is a no brainer and beats the heck out of painful injections every 6 months. I'm with you on this!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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