Miami – Lip Repositioning Surgery

At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, Dr. William P. Lamas frequently treats gummy-looking smiles and lip incompetence issues with lip repositioning surgery (LPS).

What are the Benefits of Lip Repositioning Surgery?

Lip repositioning surgery is an exciting option for individuals who would like to eliminate a gummy-looking smile. In addition, LPS can be used to address lip incompetence.

The benefits of lip repositioning surgery in Miami include that it:

  • only requires local anesthesia;
  • offers patients with gummy smiles immediate results;
  • provides a more-balanced appearance in reference to the teeth, lips and gums;
  • adds volume to the upper lip, providing an aesthetically pleasing result;
  • quickly increases an individual’s self-esteem; and
  • will not cause any external scarring.

In addition, Dr. Lamas’ patients enjoy a fast recovery with very little downtime.

What is a Gummy Smile?

If you look in the mirror and notice that your teeth look too small or that your gums tend to show quite a bit when you have a big, natural smile, you have what is referred to as a gummy smile. The dental term for this issue is ‘excessive gingival display (EGD).’

What Causes a Gummy-Looking Smile?

There are numerous reasons that a gummy-looking smile results. In fact, many patients have more than one issue causing their EGD.

These reasons include:

  • an upper lip that is too short, allowing the gums to become very visible when an individual smiles;
  • excessive growth of the upper jaw bone (i.e., maxilla);
  • an overbite;
  • gums that do not recede as an individual ages/thick gums;
  • teeth that do not fully erupt; and/or
  • overactive muscles.

Treatment for a Gummy Smile in Miami

Determining the proper treatment requires identifying the reason or reasons an individual is experiencing a gummy-looking smile. A correct diagnosis is vital to solving this problem, which is why choosing an expert in the field of Periodontology is essential: As an experienced periodontist, Dr. Lamas has the skill, artistic vision and innovative dental solutions necessary to correct an individual’s excessive gingival display. Needless to say, it is the extent of the gum line exposure that determines the recommended treatment.

There are three classifications used to categorize gum line exposure:

  • 1-3 mm of gingival display;
  • 4-6 mm of gingival display; and
  • 7+ mm of gingival display.

Solutions Dr. Lamas Uses in Miami for Treating a Gummy Smile

The traditional solutions for treating excessive gingival display range from crown lengthening to gum lifts using state-of-the-art lasers, orthodontics and/or surgical intervention. If Dr. William P. Lamas determines that surgical intervention is the patient’s best option, he will most likely recommend a lip repositioning surgery.

How Does Lip Repositioning Surgery Correct EGD?

With lip repositioning surgery, Dr. Lamas decreases the lips range of motion by restricting the pull of the upper lip’s elevator muscle and shortening its vestibule; thus, reducing the amount of gingival display when the patient smiles.

What is Lip Incompetence?

The term ‘lip incompetence’ refers to the inability of an individual to comfortably rest his or her lips together in a closed position. Individuals who have this condition frequently exhibit a slight tugging at the tip of their nose or a buckling and dimpling in their chin while pressing their lips together: These actions are caused by the soft tissue around the mouth as it stretches to allow the mouth to remain closed. In addition, this closing action may cause the upper and lower lips to protrude.

While this may not seem like a problem that should be addressed by a periodontist or an orthodontist, the root cause of this problem may be related to an individual’s bite or tooth alignment. Furthermore, if lip incompetence goes untreated, orofacial changes may result. These orofacial changes may alter the individual’s tooth alignment and bite, which may lead to changes in his or her facial appearance.

What Causes Lip Incompetence?

One of the most common causes of lip incompetence is a condition called ‘chronic allergic rhinitis.’ This condition is characterized by nasal inflammation due to airborne allergens. Symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion and a runny nose. Since the individual cannot breathe comfortably through his or her nose, open-mouth breathing is his or her only option. Other problems that could cause lip incompetence include enlarged tonsils, nasal obstruction or enlarged adenoids: For these reasons, finding out the cause of lip incompetence is critical.

If Lip Incompetence is Not Addressed, Could Other Problems Result?

Unfortunately, yes. According to a study published in Collegium Antropologicum, lip incompetence can affect the development and growth of the craniofacial complex. As a result of this condition, researchers discovered changes in tooth eruption and alignment, facial development, swallowing, breathing and the function of the temporomandibular joint. Since their bodies are still developing, children who breathe through their mouths consistently are at a higher risk of experiencing orofacial changes than adults are.

How lip incompetence affects the facial structure and disrupts sleeping patterns:

  • Facial Changes Associated with Lip Incompetence

    – As time passes, this condition promotes vertical facial growth, leading to a face with a long, narrow appearance. This is frequently referred to as ‘long-face syndrome.’ Children may develop an overbite, overjet or a crossbite. If an overbite or an overjet result, the chin may recede. Once the chin recedes, it sets back too far and negatively affects an individual’s facial profile.

  • Disrupted Sleep Patterns

    – Lip incompetence can also increase the risk of snoring and sleep apnea, both of which disrupt sleep patterns. When sleep patterns are disrupted, an individual may begin experiencing fatigue.

Other Issues

Lip incompetence can also lead to droopy-looking eyes and speech disorders.

Treating Lip Incompetence at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

Once the root cause of the problem is identified, Dr. William P. Lamas will create a personalized treatment plan for the patient. A correct diagnosis is crucial to ensure that once the lip incompetence issue is addressed it does not recur following treatment: This is just one of the reasons that choosing an experienced periodontist is vital.

Potential treatments include:

  • A palatal expander

    – this is a dental appliance that is used to widen a child’s palate while he or she is still growing. The expander can address a recessed lower chin and overjet by pulling the upper jaw, promoting backward growth.

  • Lip repositioning surgery

    – this is a procedure in which Dr. Lamas essentially lowers the upper lip. He accomplishes this by removing a section of tissue from inside the patient’s mouth. Once this strip of tissue is removed, he sutures the area to a new, lower position. Since the excisions are all made within the mouth, no external scarring will result.

Patients with a chin that is significantly recessed may need to have a surgical procedure to bring their chin forward and reduce the amount of strain being placed on his or her chin.

Who is a Good Candidate for Lip Repositioning Surgery with Dr. Lamas in Miami?

If you are unhappy with the amount of gum that shows when you smile or you have lip incompetence and you are in overall good health, you may be a good candidate for lip repositioning surgery.

Individuals who are considering lip repositioning surgery should understand the benefits as well as the limitations of this procedure.

Furthermore, individuals who currently have periodontal disease (i.e., gum disease) are not good candidates for lip repositioning surgery; however, once the periodontal disease is addressed, the possibility of lip repositioning surgery may be revisited.

An Initial Consultation for Lip Repositioning Surgery

If possible, please bring your current dental records, medical records and/or X-rays with you to your initial consultation with Dr. Lamas at his office in Miami. He will review the records and X-rays you have brought with you. During this consultation, Dr. William P. Lamas will want to discuss your dental and medical history. Whether you are considering a lip repositioning procedure for a gummy-looking smile or for incompetent lips, he will examine your mouth. Dr. Lamas may also take some X-rays and measurements. After examining your mouth and reviewing the X-rays, he will be able to determine the reason you are experiencing the EGD or lip incompetence. Once Dr. Lamas has reached a diagnosis, he will create you a customized treatment plan: Your personalized treatment plan may include lip repositioning surgery or it may not. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them at this appointment. As a top periodontist and dental implant specialist in South Florida, Dr. William P. Lamas is well-versed in both of these areas.

Lip Repositioning Surgery with Dr. Lamas in Miami

Lip repositioning surgery is a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure that Dr. Lamas performs at his state-of-the-art office in Miami. Lip repositioning surgery is a cost-effective procedure that offers the patient life-changing results without visible scarring on the face. Although this procedure can be performed using just local anesthesia, Dr. Lamas is always open to discuss additional forms of sedation with his patients. Ultimately, he wants his patients to feel comfortable during their procedures.

Lip Repositioning Surgery: The Procedure

This procedure is relatively quick, typically lasting less than an hour.

  • Anesthesia

    – If the patient is having local anesthesia, he or she will not need a driver; however, patients who choose to have IV sedation or nitrous oxide during their lip repositioning surgery will need to bring a licensed driver with them on the day of their procedure. This is very important because, to ensure your safety, you will not be permitted to drive for 24-hours following sedation. In addition, at Lamas Dental Specialists, we do not permit our patients to use ridesharing vehicles (e.g., Uber or Lyft, etc.), public transportation or taxi services following IV sedation, again, this is a policy we have implemented as a means to protect our patients.

  • Preparation

    – Once the patient is anesthetized or IV sedated, Dr. William P. Lamas will dry the inside of the upper lip.

  • Marking

    – Once the tissues are sufficiently dried, he uses a sterile pencil to mark the location of the incision. This marking helps guide him during the lip repositioning surgery.

  • Excision of Tissue

    – Dr. Lamas will remove a section of tissue from the inner portion of the patient’s top lip.

  • Closing the Incision

    – Once this strip is removed, he sutures the exposed area into a lower, more aesthetically pleasing position.

Results are immediate and will continue to improve as the inflammation subsides.

What About Complications?

Just like all surgical procedures, lip repositioning surgery also has risks and complications that may arise. These complications may include infection, bleeding and/or scarring. That said, choosing an experienced lip repositioning surgeon like Dr. William P. Lamas decreases the likelihood of experiencing a complication during and/or after surgery.

Recovering from Lip Repositioning Surgery in Miami

Following lip repositioning surgery, patients should avoid making facial movements for the first 48 hours. In addition, patients are directed to stop performing their oral hygiene tasks (brushing and flossing) for the first 48 hours following surgery.
To reduce inflammation, patients can gently place ice on their upper lip in 20-minute intervals every hour for the first 24 hours. Ibuprofen may be used for pain.
Dr. Lamas may provide the patient with a prescription mouthwash to use periodically. Furthermore, patients will need to eat a soft diet for approximately a week.

Soft foods to consider include:

  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Gelatin
  • Ice cream
  • Eggs
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Hominy grits
  • Applesauce
  • Peanut butter and jam sandwiches made with white bread and creamy peanut butter. In addition, make sure the jam does not contain any seeds.
  • Cream soups
  • Well-cooked, boneless fish

Suture Removal

Unless Dr. Lamas uses dissolving stitches, patients return to Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami to have their sutures removed approximately a week after their lip repositioning surgery.

If you live in or near Miami and you think you may have gum disease or you need to have a professional cleaning contact us today at (305) 440-4114. At Lamas Dental Specialists, we concentrate on eliminating problems as opposed to creating them.