Often neglected in the diagnosis and planning of cosmetically driven procedures, the gingiva (gums) around the teeth are of great importance to the appearance of teeth and a smile. The shape we see, when we look at teeth, is partially defined by their contrast against the pink soft tissue which anchors them. There are certain cases when modifying the shape of this emergence from the tissue, or modifying its position, can dramatically alter the tooth as we see it – without actually touching the tooth. Often this is done in conjunction with restorative treatment, such as veneers or crowns, to improve the proportions of the teeth and the smile. Patients showing too much tissue, often described as having a “gummy smile”, are frequently seen as having short teeth. When a patient is looking to improve their smile, this is one of the criteria which are evaluated. If it is determined to be a contributing factor as an element the patient would like to improve, the corrected shape can be incorporated into the planned treatment. In certain cases the recontouring will be performed in our office and for others we work with New York’s top Periodontists.