Gingivectomy, or the surgical removal of gingiva/gum tissue, is the excision of some part of it mainly for medicinal purposes. Commonly used to treat swollen gingivae or for cosmetic facilitation, it was performed with scalpels in the past.
Gingivectomy now is usually performed with dental lasers which are used to cut gingiva for dental, restorative and cosmetic indications. Providers use lasers because of the rapid healing and reduced pain following the procedure. Lasers are also used in patients needing periodontal packing or sutures.
Gingivectomy done for cosmetic purposes is elective or optional. Usually, dentists don’t recommend elective gingivectomy unless the patient is a low-risk patient, or if the dentist is a specialist in cosmetic procedures.
For cosmetic procedures that involve elective gingivectomy, talk to your dentist to be aware of the pros and cons of the process.