Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure in which gum tissue and sometimes bone is removed to expose more of a tooth. It is often performed when a tooth that needs to be fixed doesn't stick out enough from the gums to support a filling or crown. A crown lengthening procedure is often necessary when a tooth breaks at the gum line, but it may also be performed if a significantly decayed tooth loses a crown or filling. In other cases, a crown can be lengthened for cosmetic purposes if a patient has a lot of gum tissue surrounding their teeth and wants to improve their "gummy smile."
A patient typically has their teeth cleaned before a crown lengthening procedure. A tooth that needs a permanent crown may be fitted with a temporary one during the procedure. This both protects the tooth from damage and makes the procedure easier for the surgeon.
A crown lengthening is performed using a local anesthetic. The amount of time the procedure will take will depend on how much tissue and bone is removed. If only a small amount of gum tissue needs to be removed from a few teeth, the procedure can be completed relatively quickly. If bone needs to be removed, you can expect the procedure to take a little longer. Once enough of the teeth have been exposed, the incisions will be cleaned with a sterile saline solution and stitched closed.
After your procedure, you will be given a prescription pain reliever and a mouth rinse. You will be advised to eat a softer diet for the first seven to ten days. You should be able to brush your teeth as normal as long as you avoid putting too much pressure on your gums. Any swelling you experience can be managed with an ice pack. Your stitches can be removed after seven to ten days, and you will make a follow-up visit after four to six weeks to make sure that you are healing on schedule.
For more information about crown lengthening or the other medical procedures we have to offer, contact Castlebury Dental today.