Lip Repositioning Surgery
San Francisco Bay Periodontics
Excessive display of gum tissue when smiling poses an esthetic problem for some patients. Orthognathic surgery performed in gummy smile cases resulting from jaw deformities eliminates this problem. However, these procedures are quite invasive and require hospitalization of the patients. For these reasons, the “lip repositioning procedure”, which involves retraction of smile elevator muscles, may be an alternative in the treatment of some gummy smile cases.
Though its name may sound to some like involved reconstructive surgery, Lip Repositioning is a newly developed procedure that permanently corrects gummy smiles caused by a hyperactive lip (high upper lip). It does this through a short and minimally invasive surgical procedure that lowers the junction of the upper lip to the inside of the mouth. The procedure, nicknamed the “Gummy Tuck”, restricts upper lip movement in full smile and dramatically reduces the amount of gum exposure with a full smile. This is accomplished through removal of a small strip of tissue from the inside of the upper lip. Once the small strip of tissue has been removed, the upper lip is sutured into a new, lower position.
The procedure generally takes about 30-45 minutes and is done under local anesthesia. All incisions are intra-oral and result in little or no scarring in the inside of the lip. Other than restriction of lip movement on full smile, no other effects on facial muscle movement or speech are seen.
The Benefits of Lip Repositioning:
- Immediate and permanent correction of a ‘Gummy Smile’
- Results in a more esthetic, confident smile with a proportional amount of teeth and gums.
- Fast recovery with no external scarring.
Lip repositioning surgery is a relatively simple procedure, which has few post-op complications and may be a permanent treatment for excessive gingival display. This procedure also is successful in increasing lip volume and for the correction of an asymmetrical smile. Most importantly, patients express great satisfaction with the appearance of their smiles following the procedure.