Crown Lengthening

What is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is a procedure which involves removal of gum and in some cases bone tissue to expose more of the tooth’s surface. It can be performed to improve the appearance of the smile or to allow for placement of a dental crown.

How do you prepare for Crown Lengthening?

You will first have a consultation with your dentist or periodontist to conclude whether or not a crown lengthening is right for you. You should take this opportunity to discuss your expectations, ask questions, and bring up any concerns you may have about the procedure. It is important that the patient has healthy gums prior to crown lengthening. You will undergo a thorough periodontal examination in order to assess gum health and determine where the new gum line will be located.

Why is Crown Lengthening performed?

A crown lengthening is often performed when there is not enough exposed tooth to support a dental crown, or if there are cavities or dental issues which need treatment but are beneath the gum line. It may also be done for cosmetic purposes, to address excessive gum display or a “gummy” smile.

What can you expect during Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is typically performed under local anesthesia, and may vary in duration depending on the number of teeth being worked on and the amount of tissue which needs to be removed. Your periodontal surgeon will make an incision along the gumline to expose roots and bone. Gum tissue will be removed, as well as some bone in some cases. The incision is then thoroughly cleaned before being sutured back together. You may be prescribed painkillers and a special mouth rinse to improve the healing process.

What is the followup and recovery like for Crown Lengthening?

There may be some bleeding in the immediate aftermath of crown lengthening, but this should stop after a day or so. It is recommended that you avoid hot food or rinsing your mouth for 24 hours after the procedure, and abstain from any strenuous physical activity for at least a few days. Applying an ice pack can help with reducing any swelling shortly after surgery. You should also refrain from smoking or drinking alcohol in the weeks immediately following surgery. Be careful when brushing and try to avoid chewing with the part of your mouth where the incision was made. The sutures should last around a week or two, and you may need to have the dressing changed during this time. Full recovery usually takes around three months.

What are the potential risks for Crown Lengthening?

Like any surgery, crown lengthening carries a slight risk of complications such as pain, swelling, and infections. There may be some bleeding and tooth sensitivity following a crown lengthening, but this should abate within a day or two – persistent bleeding, swelling, or severe pain should be reported immediately. There is also a possibility that the smile may appear uneven, with the affected tooth looking longer than those surrounding it.

Are there related treatments to Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is one of a number of surgeries that may be performed to improve the health or appearance of the gum line, including gum tissue grafts and gingivoplasty.

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