Dental Feature: Laser Gingivoplasty


Breed: Brown Tabby Persian Cat

Maxillary/Mandibular Asymmetry

At just seven months old, this brown tabby Persian cat presented with a lower canine penetrating his upper gum tissues. He was experiencing discomfort because the right side of his lower jaw did not occlude properly with the upper jaw teeth.

Maxillary/mandibular asymmetry with impingement of the right mandibular canine crown

Close up of impinged area

Options for care included:

  • Extraction of the lower right canine
  • Crown reduction and restoration of the right lower canine to remove the impingement
  • Laser gingivoplasty to remove the impinged area

Extraction would have eliminated the problem, but would have required invasive surgery and loss of the tooth. Crown reduction and restoration would have eliminated the impingement and allowed for continued use of the tooth, but the procedure is more costly and could result in restorative leakage, requiring root canal therapy. After discussing the pros and cons of each procedure, the client opted for laser gingivoplasty.


Laser gingivoplasty

The laser gingivoplasty was performed using a CO2 laser set at six watts. Punctate impressions were made, removing approximately 1–2 mm of the affected gingiva. A saline soaked, cotton-tipped applicator was used to remove the lased tissue until the correct contour was produced and the impingement was eliminated.

Elimination of impinged area

A follow-up exam revealed that the procedure worked wonderfully. The patient is happy again and enjoying a pain-free mouth.

Follow-up exam results after laser gingivoplasty

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