What Is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that can be performed by a periodontist or dentist.
It requires gum tissue recontouring and at times bone recontouring as well.
The purpose of the procedure is to unveil more tooth structure in order to prepare for the next step which are tooth prosthetics. After the procedure, the tooth is covered with a dental crown or porcelain veneer.
The reasons for crown lengthening can be restorative or cosmetic
The restorative reasons are:
- Subgingival tooth decay
- To make more space for crown placing
- Subgingival tooth damage
Cosmetic reasons crown lengthening would be recommended are:
- Unhealthy gums which led to an asymmetric front teeth gum line.
- A gummy smile – An excessive amount of gum is visible when smiling.
Crown lengthening helps to improve the gum line edge shape.
Before the procedure is done, the dentist examines the teeth to determine the teeth root shape and their position in the bone. The gums will also be examined to determine the depth of periodontal pockets. This is necessary in order to recommend the correct course of treatment resulting in a perfect smile!
The crown lengthening procedure includes the following steps:
- Local Anesthesia is administered.
- Incisions are made to gently separate the gum tissue from the teeth.
- Gum tissue is removed. In some cases some bone tissue is removed as well.
- Stitches are placed
- Periodontal dressing is applied to protect the area so that it can properly heal.
After the procedure is complete, your dentist will instruct you on what should be done for a better healing process.
The instructions may include medicines that will need to be taken, hot/cold compresses, temporary physical activity restriction, dieting (with soft foods and no soda), gentle brushing and rinsing. During the healing period your teeth may be sensitive to hot and cold and gums may bleed. As time passes, you’ll have less and less of these symptoms leading up to your full recovery.
Crown Lengthening FAQs
How long does it take to heal after crown lengthening?
The healing process usually takes 4 to 6 weeks and may extend to up to 12 weeks.
Can you drive after crown lengthening?
Yes, you can
Do gums grow back after crown lengthening?
No, the gums do not grow back
What can I eat after this procedure?
Soft, not spicy and no soda diet would be recommended
How long after crown lengthening can I get a crown?
It takes 4-6 weeks for the gums to settle into a new position but may take up to 12 weeks if the procedure was done for a cosmetic result. After this period the crown can be placed.