Hello! In my previous post on the completion of my porcelain veneers, I mentioned that I'd be back to keep you updated on my gum grafting procedure.
Here are the 2 previous posts of my Smile Makeover journey:
Look how far I've come! 😀 So grateful that I had Dr Jerry from Orchard Scotts Dental as my dentist.
While veneers were more for cosmetic purposes, my gum grafting procedure was to prevent further gum recession and reduce gum sensitivity.
Several factors contribute to the recession of my gums.
The first would be the wearing of braces. I wore braces about 10 years ago and after extracting 2 upper and 2 lower teeth (my jaw couldn't accommodate so many teeth so there was overcrowding), the dentist had to pull my teeth inwards to close up the gaps. This inward bending of teeth caused the stretching of lower gum and made them thinner.
Secondly, I grind and clench my teeth, which can put too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede. After the completion of my veneers, I was given a mouth guard to wear to protect my veneers, and I think it has helped me relax so that I don't wake up with a sore jaw from over-clenching.
Check out my receding gums and the ugly extended 'root' from before. 🙁
My gum had receded so much that a lot of my tooth was exposed and it HURT SO MUCH when I ate chocolate and cold food/drinks. This ugly filling was done by my neighborhood dentist who had no aesthetic sense but just fulfilled the fundamental job of covering the exposed tooth. It bothered me a little because it was kind of thick and when my mouth closed, there was a bit of a bump.
After my veneers were completed, Dr Jerry helped to smoothen out the overly-thick filling.
Gum Grafting Surgery
I actually have way more bloody pictures of the surgery but I thought one should suffice.
No, I did not hurt during the surgery. There was no pain and at one point I think I fell asleep. LOL.
Gum grafting surgery is less invasive now than it used to be. And dentists like Dr Jerry Lim and Dr Ronnie Yap from Orchard Scotts Dental are also trained in the aesthetics field so they accomplish both function and beauty.
From the pictures taken during the procedure, the gum was stretched and a surgical tissue was stuffed into a pocket to thicken the gum. Then it was all sewn into place with surgical sutures.
The nurses at OSD gave me specific post-operative care instructions to follow to prevent infection at the graft site. For the next few weeks I was not to brush my teeth, but use a prescription mouth wash. No hard foods that require a lot of chewing, in case some of the bits get in between the sutures.
On the night of the surgery, I almost died. LOL. The pain was at a level of 100,000 after the local anesthesia wore off. Luckily nobody was at home so I had the whole house to myself to whine and scream and wallow in self-pity. HAHAHA. The pain wore off the next couple of days.
To ensure that everything is fine and the stitches are secure, Dr Jerry had me return for a review. The graft site was healing well. 😀
Besides feeling swollen at the gums, there was also some bruising at the jaw, as you would have seen in my Philips Visapure review post. The bruise subsided in a few days. Clearly, I had no trouble smiling or talking. The stitches weren't the most comfortable thing to have in my mouth though. 🙁
Three weeks later, the stitches were removed. FREEDOM!!! 😀
Gum Grafting Before-After Pictures
You can see that the gums are much thicker than before and were pulled up to cover the exposed teeth.
However, the lower teeth were very yellow and was an unsightly contrast to the beautiful upper teeth.
Home Whitening Kit
We had to wait for the lower gums to heal completely before starting the home teeth whitening course.
Originally, the lower teeth were shades A2 and A3.
After using the home whitening kit for 18 days, my teeth was a lot less yellow! B is whiter than A, and the smaller the number the whiter the shade.
In fact, B1 is the shade of my veneers on my upper teeth and now my lower teeth is also the same shade. WOOOW! I completed the home whitening process just before my wedding photoshoot so that I would have the brightest smile. Do note that teeth can be whitened, but only veneers give a more permanent result.
I have used other types of home teeth whitening products before but they made my teeth and gums hurt, not just the sensitive teeth, but like the entire mouth. Also, unlike off-the-shelves whitening products, my mouth guard from Orchard Scotts Dental which also worked as the tray for my home whitening process, was exactly the right fit made from a mould taken of my teeth. This ensured that every single tooth got in contact with the whitening gel.
Having a nicer set of teeth has really brought a lot of changes in my life. I feel less conscious when taking pictures of my right profile now, and my face looks less lopsided now that my teeth is more balanced. The changes don't stop at just my teeth, even my SMILE has seen improvement in its radiance because the teeth look brighter and less 'hidden'. That's why it's called a Smile Makeover! It feels great to receive compliments about my nice teeth and smile.
Thank you, Orchard Scotts Dental! 😀
It is important to have a dentist who not only has great dental skills, but also good aesthetics sense. If you are looking to do some adjustments to your teeth and smile, you know who to look for!
Orchard Scotts Dental
501 Orchard Road
Wheelock Place #05-08
t. +65 6732 9939
+65 8223 6334 (emergency)
f. +65 6732 6883
What's the best thing you've ever done to improve or maintain your smile? 😀
Check out the other posts in this Smile Makeover series!
Smile Makeover Series