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Dental crown lengthening is a procedure that involves removing the gum tissue or bone so that more of a tooth's structure is exposed. Whether you have a broken tooth or severe decay, dental crown lengthening can improve the structure of the tooth so that your problem can be treated. Additionally, crown lengthening can also be used for cosmetic purposes in order to treat what is known as a "gummy smile."
When is Crown Lengthening Necessary?
Crown lengthening is generally required when a tooth is in need of a crown, but due to the position of a fracture or decay deep below the gums, it is inaccessible to your dentist. Without crown lengthening, the tissue surrounding the tooth will be chronically inflamed because of improper spacing between the bone and the base of the restoration. Bone loss could also occur, and effects may include gum recession, continued tooth support loss, and the deepening of pockets.
What Happens during the Procedure? The crown lengthening procedure will involve adjusting the gum tissue level as well as the bone level around the tooth. This will allow a dentist the access that he or she needs to reach the edge of the restoration, thus ensuring proper fit. It can also provide enough tooth structure in order to create a new restoration that is more secure and stronger in the future.
What Happens after the Procedure? Crown lengthening is a minor surgery that should cause you minimal pain. However, your periodontist will likely prescribe you prescription pain medications. You will also be given specialized mouth rinses to use during your recovery, and while your teeth heal, you should continue to practice good oral hygiene. Your stitches will be removed about a week after the procedure, but your gums will need to take some time to heal before the final crown can be fitted.
Please contact us if you have any questions about crown lengthening.