Sometimes, teeth may be covered with excess gum tissue and may give you something known as a “gummy” smile making teeth appear shorter. Crown lengthening is a procedure where your dentist will reshape your gums and remove some gum tissue in order to show more of your teeth.
There are many reasons why someone may need a crown lengthening procedure. The process of crown lengthening involves exposing more of the tooth's surface for either cosmetic or oral health concerns.
What is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is an oral surgery treatment that involves removing excess gum tissue, and possibly some bone, around the upper teeth to make them look longer. Dentists and periodontists frequently perform this standard procedure. If the gum line is uneven, crown lengthening can sculpt the gum line to produce a more symmetrical smile.
Crown lengthening may also be performed for other dental reasons. For example, crown lengthening may be necessary to support the installation of a crown. A dental crown, or cap, may be required due to a cracked or damaged tooth. Untreated cavities frequently become too large to be corrected with a filling, leaving you in the position of needing a dental crown. Additionally, crowns can also cover misshapen or discolored teeth.
Advantages of Crown Lengthening
Unlike many other cosmetic dentistry treatments, crown lengthening only needs to be done once. In addition to creating a broader, more symmetrical smile, crown lengthening can provide other dental care benefits. Crown lengthening treatments can also reduce tooth decay because more of the tooth is exposed to brush and floss.
Crown Lengthening Procedure
Preparing for the Treatment
Preparing for a crown lengthening procedure takes about an hour. Before surgery, x-rays will be taken and your medical history will be reviewed with your dentist or surgeon to go over any current medications or health concerns that could affect the surgery. A thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and bone structure will need to be done before the procedure also.
To better help determing if crown lengthening is the right solution, your dentist will predetermine how much of your gums will need to be removed or contoured for the desired result.
In some cases, gum tissue can be contoured with a laser. In other cases, some bone may need to be removed for the desired results. Crown lengthening is considered to be a routine procedure, but as with any surgery, there are certain risks to consider. The most common concern is infection following any crown lengthening treatment. Your dentist may prescribe you antibiotics to prevent or treat any infections after surgery.
Bleeding is also another concern tht needs to be watched and managed. Your post-operative care instructions are an essential part of reducing your risk of developing complications and help with the healing process. After your procedure, you should follow up with your dentist if you have any concerns regarding the condition of your teeth and gums.
Aftercare and Recovery
Your gums will most likely need several months to heal after your crown lengthening procedure fully. Most of your regular daily activities can continue right after surgery; however you should always follow all aftercare tips or instructions from your provider for the best recovery.
Immediately After Surgery
- Apply an ice pack for approximately 20 minutes on and off the day of your surgery to reduce swelling.
- To reduce unwanted bleeding, avoid hot foods and beverages.
- Avoid strenuous activities for the first 48 to 72 hours.
- Take any prescribed or over-the-counter medications as suggested for pain management.
Additional Recovery Tips:
- Your gums may be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures for quite a while.
- Avoid hard, spicy, or sticky foods during the recovery process.
- Soft foods and plenty of water will allow the gums to heal faster.
- Do not drink alcohol or smoke for 7 to 10 days.
- Refrain from running your tongue over treated gums.
- Avoid pulling your lip outward to check on the surgical site.
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist to monitor the healing process.
If you wish to know more, contact us at Rosedale Dental located in Thornhill by calling (905) 886-9900. Our knowledgeable staff would be happy to assist you in understanding this service.
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