Monthly Archives: March 2016

What is Gum Contouring?

It’s only natural to dream of having a sparkling, beautiful smile. After all, its impact on one’s self-esteem, confidence and mental health have long been made known to the general public. However, those who are born with uneven gums may find it hard to find a way to have that smile they’ve always wanted.

The good thing is that there are procedures that can help with that, namely gum contouring.

Gum contouring is a medical procedure that’s mainly used to treat problems such as receding gums and the occurrence of pockets in between teeth. The former leaves the teeth exposed and vulnerable to bacteria, while the latter provides bacteria an ideal location to accumulate. While it’s mainly a medical procedure, gum contouring can also be used to help those who were born with gummy smiles.

How The Procedure Works 

Gum reshaping is a procedure performed only by qualified dentists and periodontists.

It involves the use of a mild local an aesthetic to numb the gums. Dentists then use a soft tissue laser for a variety of purposes.

For those with gummy smiles, the laser is used to remove the excess gum tissue, resulting in the teeth looking longer and the smile looking much better.

For those with whose gums have receded, the laser is used to help reshape and seal the tissue to create the ideal shape, as well as to prevent any excess bleeding.

For those with pockets in between their teeth, the laser is used to seal off such hollows to prevent future bacterial infections.

Safe and Effective

While, at one time, dentists used scalpels to remove excess gingival tissue, that no longer is the case these days. Today’s dentists now make use of a soft tissue laser that’s able to remove tissue, while at the same, seal it off to prevent excess bleeding and at the same time, promote healing.

The use of the laser ensures that the results are instant, and that the procedure is quick and easy.

As mentioned earlier, a mild local anesthetic is used. Though, this is only to make sure that patients are as comfortable as possible throughout the whole procedure.

Aftercare Considerations

Whether you had your gums reshaped for medical or aesthetic reasons, it’s important to emphasize good dental hygiene even more so the weeks following the procedure. Because the gums have yet to fully heal, you may want to brush much more gently than usual to avoid irritating any sensitive tissue. This also means that you should avoid using hard-bristled toothbrushes.

If you haven’t been rinsing with mouthwash before, now may be the time that you start doing so. Though, you may want to ask your dentist to recommend a more gentle cleansing mouthwash as some do contain alcohol that may cause pain and a burning sensation due to your sensitive gums.

Modern dental science now offers a wide variety of possible treatments that’s both safe and effective when it comes to improve your appearance, as well as your health.

To find out if you’re a good candidate for gum contouring, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit for more information regarding gum contouring.

Dental Bonding Vs Porcelain Veneers

Bleaching is often the go-to treatment option for whitening teeth. However, it’s not always recommended because not everyone is a candidate for bleaching.

Patients who’ve had tooth-colored filings in the past, as well as crowns and caps in their front teeth won’t benefit as much from bleaching. This is because, even after treatment, the color of the dental appliances will remain the same. This presents a notable aesthetic problem because bleaching can make the dental appliances stand out, virtually destroying the look of a newly whitened smile.

In such cases, two other possible treatment options can be considered – porcelain veneers and dental bonding.

Each treatment option presents a distinct set of advantages, as well as disadvantages, both of which will be discussed below to help you make an informed decision.

The Case For Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are custom-made for your teeth based on a mold that is taken on the first visit and then sent to a dental laboratory, where after finishing, the veneers are fitted on your teeth on the second visit.

Of the two, porcelain veneers are the more expensive treatment option. However, veneers are also widely praised for their beautiful and natural look. Additionally, veneers can be used to not only improve smiles by whitening them, but also by fixing dental imperfections such as chips, cracks, and a few other problems.

For best results, it is recommended to choose a cosmetic dentist that has had extensive experience with porcelain veneers.

The Case For Dental Bondings

Dental bonding is a dental procedure where composite resin is used to restore chipped and broken teeth. The treatment is also applicable for filling in gaps, reshaping and recoloring teeth.

The process starts with the dentist applying a very mild etching solution to slightly roughen up the surface of the affected teeth for better adhesion. Then, the dentist applies the resin, which is then carefully sculpted, colored and shaped to provide optimal results.

Once the dentist has finished working on the composite resin, a high-intensity light is then used to speed up the hardening process. Afterwards, the tooth is polished.

Making the Decision

Both treatment options share a similarity in that they can be both made to look similar to the remaining natural teeth. However, porcelain veneers are generally considered as more superior in terms of aesthetics, durability and function.

While both treatment options require patients to make necessary dietary changes, such as avoiding chewing on and opening hard stuff using teeth, porcelain veneers are generally considered as easier to take care of. This is likely because veneers are more resistant to staining and are much more durable.

Case in point, porcelain veneers are expected to last well over a decade, while dental bonding usually only lasts for about five years.

In choosing which of the two treatments you will choose to have your smile fixed, make sure that you consider your budget, as well as your aesthetic and functional goals.

Your dentist can also help you decide which of the two treatment options are best suited for your particular case.

If you would like to learn more about porcelain veneers and dental bonding, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 or visit for more information.

Dr. Bartz proudly welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.