Hi Dr. Hall,
I am interested in the gingival masks you make and hope you can answer a couple questions. Can you please tell me what material it is made out of, whether a regular dental impression (or something else) is involved in making it, and what the approximate cost is for the mask? I would be looking for one for just my upper gums. Thank you very much.
– Laura from Santa Ana, California
I found this searching for “gum mask.”
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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First, to clarify, I don’t make the gingival mask. I did offer this service while I was practicing, but I used Glidewell Lab to make them for me.
For those who aren’t familiar with this prosthesis, here is a before-and-after photograph showing its use. It is a flexible pink material that snaps onto your front teeth to look like gums. It is used when there are unsightly black triangles between the teeth, and it fills those in to make it look like you have normal gums.
As far as what they are made of, it’s interesting that you should ask that. When I wrote the page on the main mynewsmile website, I stated that gingival masks are made of silicone. But since then, some dental labs are using vinyl polysiloxane, which is a more stable material. They are made by taking an impression of the teeth, pouring that up into a plaster model, and then the mask material is made on that model. It isn’t a difficult process, and any laboratory that makes soft liners for dentures should know how to make one of these and should have materials on hand to do it. Likewise, any dentist who knows how to take an impression should be able to get you one of these, though they may not even be aware of the device.
You may be interested in my separate post about how to find a dental laboratory that makes gingival masks.
– Dr. Hall
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.