There are two main reasons for crown lengthening: to improve the health of the gums, or to prepare the mouth for cosmetic or restorative surgery. For some patients, they may choose crown lengthening because they have gummy smiles, due to excess gum covering their teeth. What this procedure does is reshape and recontour the gums so that more of the tooth is exposed. Possible for one tooth, several teeth, or the whole top or bottom row, this procedure can lead to healthy and beautiful teeth.
Why Crown Lengthening Is Done
A common procedure, it is often used for its incredible benefits, and most patients are incredibly pleased when they see the results of the treatment. You may want to consider crown lengthening if you want to solve the following problems:
- Damaged teeth: gum disease can really damage the gums, bone, and teeth of a patient, and so too does trauma and general decay. When a tooth has been damaged below the gum line, crown lengthening is used in order to prepare the area for the restoration process
- Cosmetic issues: having too much gum tissue in your mouth will naturally make teeth look shorter and strange, and makes you more susceptible to gum disease
- Dental crowns: if you want a dental crown, you will almost certainly require crown lengthening in order to prevent the treatment from damaging gum tissue and underlying bone
What Is Involved In Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is performed under local anaesthetic, and will take different amounts of time to perform depending on the patient, and what else needs to be done such as the removal of any bone. Any dental crowns that already exist must be removed and then immediately replaced after the procedure is finished.
The dentist will begin by making some small cuts in the gum tissue so that it can be moved away from the teeth, giving the dentist clear and uninhibited access to the roots of the teeth and the bone below. For many patients, only a small amount of tissue will need to be moved or removed, if they are receiving a crown. In other situations, a small amount of bone may also need to be removed, using similar tools to those that are used to treat cavities.
As soon as the surgery is completed, you will notice a difference in the way that your teeth look – longer, and better formed. Your dentist will then secure the gum area using a special periodontal bandage that will fight infection, and the patient will be given both a prescription for pain relief medication, and an anti-microbial rinse. It can take up to three months for the surgery site to heal up completely.
To make an appointment with Dr. Woods for a free consultation about the crown lengthening option, call (619) 640-5100.