Crown lengthening is a very common procedure used for functional and cosmetic purposes. In restorative dentistry, crown lengthening is used to prepare the teeth for dental restorations, such as caps and crowns, which require a sufficient amount of tooth structure above the gum line in order to support new restorations. Other patients may elect to undergo crown lengthening in an attempt to cosmetically treat a ‘gummy’ smile. Careful contouring can remove excess gum tissues surrounding the teeth, revealing a more aesthetically appealing smile.
Did you know…
that crown lengthening is not only functionally and aesthetically efficient, but also beneficial to patient health? Gums that extend too far over a natural tooth can be more difficult to clean and keep free of pockets that harbor harmful bacteria. A lengthened crown is more hygienic and easier to clean, reducing the chances of gum disease later on. Untreated gum disease can advance, causing inflammation, bleeding, and even tooth loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for crown lengthening treatment?
If your teeth appear short, you may be a candidate for crown lengthening to expose more of your natural teeth. If you visit your dentist for a restoration, you may be referred to a periodontist for crown lengthening treatment if your visible tooth structure is inadequate to support a restoration. Schedule a periodontal consultation to find out more about your eligibility for crown lengthening.
What should I expect during a periodontal crown lengthening procedure?
Crown lengthening is performed in a periodontist’s office under local anesthetic. During the procedure, the surgeon gently removes gum tissues and bone to expose the underlying tooth. The surgical site will be rinsed, cleansed, and sutured shut. Procedure length depends on the number of crowns being lengthened. If you are undergoing crown lengthening to prepare for a restoration, your permanent crown will not be placed for at least 3 months following the procedure.
Will I need to follow any special instructions following a crown lengthening treatment?
Yes. You’ll experience some swelling and soreness in the initial days following a crown lengthening procedure. Use ice and pain relievers to minimize discomfort, and be sure to take any prescriptions as directed by your periodontist. Be prepared to consume a diet composed of soft foods in the days following your procedure.