Laser Gum Contouring
(Gum Lift)

A Top Rated Dental Practice Serving Virginia

    Laser Gum Contouring (Gum Lift) in Falls Church, Virginia

    Having a set of beautiful, straight, gleaming white teeth makes for an amazing smile, however, even with these desirable characteristics, if the upper gum line sits too low (i.e., a gummy smile) or is uneven, these imperfections can cause an individual to feel self-conscious. Traditionally, a scalpel was used to address these types of gum line irregularities and overgrown gingival tissue. Once the traditional Gum Contouring procedure was complete, the tissue was closed with stitches. Today, thanks to modern technology, experienced cosmetic dentists, like Dr. Michael J. Paesani, address these gingival issues quickly and easily using a soft tissue laser. This revolutionary procedure is referred to as Laser Gum Contouring (aka a Laser Gum Lift and laser gum sculpting).

    What is a Laser Gum Contouring Procedure?

    A Laser Gum Lift is used to address a gummy-looking smile, an irregular gum line as well as several oral health conditions.

    When compared to the traditional gum contouring procedure that is performed using a scalpel, a Laser Gum Lift offers the patient a variety of benefits, including a quicker recovery and a very low risk of infection. Furthermore, this soft tissue laser allows Dr. Paesani to have pinpoint accuracy as he performs these procedures.

    When using a soft tissue laser for cosmetic reasons, Dr. Michael Paesani removes excess gingival tissue (aka gum tissue) to reveal more of a tooth’s surface.

    When a Gum Lift is performed using a laser, as the excess gingival tissue is removed the laser cauterizes it, which eliminates the need for stitches. When compared to the traditional gum contouring procedure that uses a scalpel and stitches, it is this cauterization process that decreases a patient’s recovery time and significantly reduces the likelihood of a patient developing an infection.

    Elective vs. Medical Necessity: What is the Difference?

    For some patients, a Laser Gum Contouring procedure is elective, which means that it is only being performed for cosmetic reasons, however, there are times when a Laser Gum Lift is considered a medical necessity, for example, this procedure may be considered a medical necessity when it is used to remove infected gingival tissue in order to improve the oral health of a patient.

    What Cosmetic Issues Can Dr. Michael J. Paesani Address Using a Laser Gum Lift in Falls Church, Virginia?

    Using Laser Gum Contouring, Dr. Paesani addresses a variety of cosmetic issues related to the patient’s gingival tissue.

    Some of the gum issues addressed using Laser Gum Contouring Procedures at NOVA Dental Studio in Falls Church, Virginia include:

    • An uneven gum line – when the gum line is irregular, the teeth themselves appear to be uneven. Dr. Michael J. Paesani performs Laser Gum Contouring procedures to strategically reshape his patients’ gums so that they appear more even; thus, improving the appearance of the teeth as well.
    • Excess gingival tissue – an individual who has too much gum tissue may feel self-conscious about the way his or her smile looks because this tissue overgrowth frequently causes a gummy-looking smile. At NOVA Dental Studio, Dr. Paesani uses a Laser Gum Lift to remove this excess gingival tissue so the patient can feel confident about the way his or her smile looks.
    • Small teeth resulting from excess gingival tissue – when an individual’s tooth (or teeth) looks too small, he or she may have excess gum tissue covering part of the tooth (or teeth). At NOVA Dental Studio in Falls Church, Virginia, Dr. Michael J. Paesani uses his artistic vision, skill and experience to reshape the patient’s gums, making the affected tooth (or teeth) appear more proportional.

    Which Conditions Can Dr. Paesani Address with a Laser Gum Contouring Procedure?

    Besides performing this procedure to improve the appearance of a patient’s gumline, this innovative procedure can be used to address a variety of oral conditions as well.

    At NOVA Dental Studio in Falls Church, Virginia, Dr. Michael Paesani may use a Laser Gum Contouring procedure to address:

    • Periodontal issues like the pockets that form when an individual has gum disease.
    • Cold sores.
    • Oral growths.
    • Bacteria accumulation at or beneath the gum line.
    • Peri-implantitis, which refers to inflammation around dental implants.
    • Dead or diseased gingival tissue.

    Who Should Consider Having Laser Gum Contouring at NOVA Dental Studio in Falls Church, Virginia?

    Good candidates for a Laser Gum Lift include those who are interested in improving the appearance of their gumline as well as individuals who have periodontal issues (e.g., pockets due to gum disease, etc.). Furthermore, using a Laser Gum Lift, Dr. Paesani can adjust a patient’s gingival tissue for porcelain veneer placement or crown lengthening.

    Individuals who should consider Laser Gum Contouring include those who:

    • Have a gummy-looking smile.
    • Would like to address an irregular-looking gum line.
    • Frequently experience gum disease or oral infections due to the bacteria that hides beneath the excess gingival tissue.
    • Have gingival tissue covering the majority of their teeth.

    To move forward with a Laser Gum Contouring procedure designed to address cosmetic issues, there must be no existing dental health problems present. If there is a problem, the patient’s current dental health issue must be addressed before a cosmetic Laser Gum Contouring procedure can be performed.

    What Causes the Gum Characteristics that Dr. Paesani Addresses with a Gum Lift?

    A variety of factors contribute to an individual’s gum characteristics. These factors include certain health issues, genetics and the use of particular medications. Dr. Michael Paesani recommends that his patients keep an eye on their gingival tissue in between their biannual cleanings. If the appearance of the gum tissue changes, or bleeding while brushing is present, patients need to contact NOVA Dental Studio at (703) 237-7725 to schedule an appointment.

    Benefits of Having a Laser Gum Lift at NOVA Dental Studio in Falls Church, Virginia

    Dr. Paesani and his team realize that when patients are having treatments that they are unfamiliar with, their dental anxiety may increase. Therefore, knowing what to expect is the best way to ease this type of dental anxiety. Dr. Michael Paesani and his staff take the time to explain the dental procedure a patient is considering during the initial consultation.

    Furthermore, at NOVA Dental Studio, patients are always encouraged to ask questions. Dr. Michael Paesani and his team of dental professionals are always happy to help their patients feel more comfortable by answering their questions.

    An Initial Consultation for Laser Gum Contouring at NOVA Dental Studio in Falls Church, Virginia: What Patients Can Expect

    Patients should expect to be asked about previous dental procedures as well as medical procedures. If the patient is regularly taking any type of medication (including over-the-counter medications), herbal supplement or vitamin, Dr. Paesani needs to know. Furthermore, if a patient has an allergy to latex, he or she should inform the office right away (preferably while scheduling the initial consultation).

    A mouth examination:

    During the initial consultation, Dr. Michael J. Paesani examines the patient’s mouth to determine if he or she is a good candidate for Laser Gum Contouring. In addition to this hands-on examination, X-rays, measurements and photos may be taken.

    A Laser Gum Contouring Procedure at NOVA Dental Studio

    The length of time a patient’s Laser Gum Lift procedure takes depends on what the procedure is addressing. For example, when this procedure is being used therapeutically for the treatment of periodontal disease, the patient will most likely receive two, two-hour sessions, whereas, patients who are having Laser Gum Contouring for cosmetic reasons should expect to have a single session that lasts an hour or two.

    Patients usually remain awake during their Laser Gum Lift at NOVA Dental Studio.

    Before starting the Laser Gum Lift procedure, Dr. Michael Paesani may ask the dental hygienist to clean the patient’s teeth.

    Dr. Michael Paesani uses medication to numb the patient’s gum tissue. By numbing this tissue, the patient remains comfortable throughout the Laser Gum Contouring procedure, nonetheless, when the numbing medication wears off, patients should expect to have some tenderness in the areas Dr. Paesani treated.

    Once the patient’s gingival tissue is numb. Dr. Paesani begins the Laser Gum Contouring procedure.

    Using a soft tissue laser, his artistic vision and contouring experience, Dr. Michael J. Paesani removes excess gingival tissue and sculpts the patient’s gumline to expose more of his or her tooth (teeth).

    When Dr. Paesani is happy with the way the patient’s gingival tissue looks, he gently cleans his or her mouth.

    Recovering from a Laser Gum Contouring Procedure in Falls Church, Virginia

    After a Laser Gum Lift, inflammation and tenderness are common. The discomfort a patient experiences is directly related to the amount of gum tissue Dr. Paesani removes or reshapes during the Laser Gum Lift procedure.

    Depending on how a patient feels, he or she may choose to limit activities for a day or two following their procedure.

    What Patients Can Expect as They Recover from a Laser Gum Lift in Falls Church, Virginia

    Any pain resulting from a Laser Gum Contouring procedure is usually mild. Pain relievers like ibuprofen may be used if needed. Patients should avoid using pain relievers that are known to increase bleeding (e.g., aspirin).

    An ice pack can be used to reduce the inflammation associated with a Laser Gum Lift. The ice pack should be used 15 to 20 minutes at a time, with at least 20 minutes in between each treatment. To prevent damaging their skin, patients need to place a washcloth between the ice and their skin.

    Recovery time varies from one person to the next. Many of Dr. Paesani’s patients feel as if they have fully recovered within just a few days of their Laser Gum Lift, whereas others require a week or two.

    Prevent Gingival Injury and Irritation

    Gingival irritation or an injury to the gum tissue can lengthen the patient’s recovery time. Therefore, during the recovery process, patients need to watch what they eat and remember to be very careful while they are eating.

    Avoid Eating These Foods While Recovering from a Laser Gum Contouring Procedure in Falls Church, Virginia

    In order to reduce the likelihood of a gum injury or gingival irritation, patients should avoid eating hard or crunchy foods. In addition, popcorn and foods with small seeds must be avoided because these foods have a tendency to become trapped in between the teeth and the gum tissue, besides being painful, this could increase the patient’s risk of developing an infection, thus, lengthening his or her recovery time.

    Proper Dental Hygiene is Essential Following Laser Gum Contouring in Falls Church, Virginia

    Practicing good dental hygiene after having a Laser Gum Lift promotes healing and improves the patient’s overall result.

    While it is vital that patients continue brushing and flossing as they recover from their Laser Gum Lift, special care must be taken while performing these activities, especially during the initial healing phase, which can last up to 10 days.

    The dental hygiene routine following a Laser Gum Contouring procedure in Falls Church, Virginia must include:

    • Brushing twice a day – patients need to brush at least twice a day (preferably upon waking and before heading to bed) using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Gentle pressure should be applied while performing each two-minute brushing session. If a patient uses an electric toothbrush, Dr. Paesani may recommend that the he or she switch to a manual, soft-bristled toothbrush until the healing process is complete.
    • Rinse with saline – patients should gently rinse their mouths with saline following snacks and meals. Gently rinsing with saline loosens the debris that remains in the mouth following a meal or a snack, this debris is then expelled along with the saline rinse. Patients can use this saline rinse as many times as they like throughout the day. How to make a saline rinse: Add one teaspoon of salt and a capful of hydrogen peroxide to an 8-ounce glass of warm water.
    • Gently floss – just as with brushing, flossing is an essential part of a good dental hygiene regimen. Therefore, patients should gently floss at least once a day.
    • Use an antiseptic mouthwash – Dr. Michael Paesani may recommend that the patient gently rinses his or her mouth at least once a day with an antiseptic mouthwash.


    Occasional scabbing during recovery is expected. These scabs may loosen and detach. This is part of the natural healing process following a Laser Gum Contouring procedure.

    What to Eat While Recovering from a Laser Gum Lift in Falls Church, Virginia

    Dr. Paesani encourages his patients to eat soft foods following their Laser Gum Lift. This soft-food regimen should continue until the patient reaches day 10 of recovery following his or her Laser Gum Contouring procedure.

    By following a soft food diet after a Laser Gum Lift, patients will avoid eating foods that could injure or irritate their gingival tissue. Irritating or injuring their gingival tissue could negatively affect the healing process.

    Soft foods patients can eat during their initial phase of recovery include:

    • Applesauce.
    • Yogurt (avoid strawberry and raspberry or any other flavor that could contain tiny seeds).
    • Soup.
    • Scrambled eggs.
    • Mashed potatoes.
    • Bananas.
    • Gelatin.
    • Pudding.
    • Pasta.
    • Ice cream.
    • Soft vegetables.

    Cool foods are especially soothing during the initial stage of healing.

    Rinsing with saline after eating is vital to maintaining a healthy mouth, and a healthy mouth promotes the healing process.

    Until the mouth is healed completely, patients should avoid consuming foods and beverages that are acidic or spicy.

    While the initial healing phase takes about 10 days, the complete healing process can take up to three months.

    A Follow-Up Appointment After Laser Gum Contouring with Dr. Paesani at NOVA Dental Studio in Falls Church, Virginia

    A patient who had a Laser Gum Lift for cosmetic reasons will return to NOVA Dental Studio for a follow-up visit within a week of the procedure. During this visit, Dr. Paesani evaluates how well the patient’s gum tissue is healing and ensures there is no infection present.

    If an infection is detected, the patient may receive a prescription for an antibiotic rinse. The signs of infection can include inflammation, pain and a discharge from the gingival tissue.

    Patients who are having Laser Gum Contouring to address periodontal disease will also return to NOVA Dental Studio for a follow-up visit. During this visit, Dr. Paesani evaluates the patient’s mouth to determine how well the initial treatment worked and whether the patient is ready for a second Laser Gum Lift treatment.


    Following a Laser Gum Lift, patients have beautifully contoured gingival tissue and a bigger, brighter smile. Since gum tissue does not grow back, these results are permanent.

    Possible Risks and Complications Following a Gum Lift in Falls Church, Virginia

    Dr. Michael J. Paesani discusses the risks and potential complications with the patient prior to his or her Laser Gum Lift.

    Some of these risks and complications include:

    • The development of an infection.
    • Pain.
    • Discomfort.
    • Excessive bleeding that can last up to 48 hours.

    Long-lasting complications following this procedure are unlikely. However, if a patient experiences pain that is worsening instead of getting better, has inflammation at or below the jaw line or has swollen gingival tissue, this could be the signs of infection. These patients need to contact NOVA Dental Studio at (703) 237-7725.

    The Cost for a Gum Lift in Virginia Varies

    Since all patients are unique and require a custom-designed treatment plan, Dr. Paesani needs to evaluate the patient to determine how much his or her procedure will cost.

    Patients who are interested in this procedure for cosmetic reasons should expect to be responsible for all the costs associated with their Laser Gum Contouring procedure because dental insurance does not usually cover elective procedures. However, to assist patients in attaining the beautiful smile they desire, NOVA Dental Studio offers several payment options, including CareCredit. Patients who would like to apply for CareCredit can click here.

    Individuals who need to have Laser Gum Contouring to address issues related to their oral health should contact their dental insurance company because this procedure may be considered medically necessary, which means they will most likely cover it. The dental insurance plans that NOVA Dental Studio accepts can be found by clicking here.

    Dr. Michael J. Paesani is a top-rated cosmetic dentist in Virginia who is dedicated to providing each patient with the beautiful smile he or she desires. To accomplish this, he uses the most innovative technology available in the cosmetic industry in conjunction with his experience, artistic vision and skills to create his patients’ the amazing smiles they have always wanted. If you have overgrown or uneven gum tissue that you would like him to address with a Laser Gum Contouring procedure, contact NOVA Dental Studio today at (703) 237-7725 to schedule your initial consultation. If you would prefer to use an online form, please click here. NOVA Dental Studio’s address is 200 Little Falls Street, No. 101, Falls Church, Virginia.


    Dental Services offered at our office


    Dental Implants

    Teeth Whitening

    General Dentistry