Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

November 10, 2016

Looking for a lab that makes gingival masks


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Dr. Hall,
Hi. We have a couple of patients who are in need of a gingival mask; but no labs in our area fabricate them. Can you please give me the name of a lab that we could work with that makes them?

Thanks!
– Diana from a dental office in Mt. Shasta, California

Diana,
For background for our visitors who may not know about the gingival mask, it’s a prosthesis for replacing gum tissue that is lost from severe gum disease, or after periodontal surgery. It is flexible and pink, and it snaps between the teeth to cover the black triangles left by severely receded gums. It’s usually made out of silicone, but I’ve heard some labs talk about making it out of soft denture liner material such as Molloplast.

A lot of dental labs make these, so I thought you’d have several choices, but then I looked up Mount Shasta and I see that you’re in a relatively remote area of northern California. So I can see where you would have problems maybe finding a lab that would make this.

In other parts of the country, you may want to consider Glidewell Dental Lab in Newport Beach, California, where they are used to shipping cases all over the country. They are fairly familiar with gingival masks. While just about any dental lab that makes dentures would be able to make one of these, if you have to explain to the technician what a gingival mask is, that wouldn’t inspire you with confidence. That won’t happen with Glidewell.

Thanks,
– Dr. Hall

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David 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 complete Internet marketing for dentists.

February 18, 2016

Finding a dentist who can make a gingival mask for me

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Dr. Hall,
I am suffering from periodontal disease. I have searched for a cosmetic dentist that does gingival masks in my area and haven’t found one. Would you have any idea what I should search for?

My gums have receded a lot, so I have large black triangles between my front teeth. And then I and am scheduled for gum surgery in the near future which is going to make them look worse. It’s a very unsightly thing and seems to be getting worse, and I think a gingival mask would help a lot.

Also, have you seen gums come back to fill these triangles in after gum surgery, seems the future of my once nice smile is in jeopardy. I just want to be able to smile confidently again, any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Mike from Michigan

Mike,
Here’s the thing on gingival masks. Even cosmetic dentists who do a lot of appearance-related dentistry don’t get calls for them very often, so they’re very unlikely to mention them on their websites. And if you call the office, the receptionist is likely to not know what you are talking about. But any dentist who is seriously into aesthetic dentistry is going to be able to do this for you and do a nice job.

The concept of a gingival mask is fairly simple. It’s simply a piece of silicone shaped to fit over these black triangles between your front teeth and colored to look like gum tissue. It has little tags that slip through those black triangles and help anchor it into place.

gingival mask prosthesis

Gingival mask photo courtesy of Chromeworks Lab, Chico, CA

Silicone is used in dentistry for several purposes—soft denture liners for one. So any dental lab that does dentures can make them. And all the dentist has to do is send a good plaster model to the dental lab. So any dentist who is really into cosmetic dentistry should be able to make this.

So my suggestion would be to simply make an appointment with any cosmetic dentist that I recommend on this website, and I’m confident they could do this for you.

And no, your gum is not going to grow back. Even trying to correct this surgically isn’t really going to work. The gingival mask prosthesis is the only real way to address the aesthetics of your situation, if you have a high lip line that shows your gums.

Do you have a comment? We’d love to hear from you. Enter your comment below.

Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David 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 complete Internet marketing for dentists.

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