Crown lengthening procedures remove gum and/or bone tissue in order to expose more of the tooth’s surface. It is often performed in preparation for another dental treatment, for example placing a dental crown or bridge. Both dental crowns and bridges are cemented to and supported by an existing tooth or teeth. Therefore, enough of the tooth’s surface must be exposed to ensure the restoration properly adheres to the tooth. Crown lengthening procedures ensure enough of the tooth is exposed.
Did You Know?
The term “crown” has two meanings in dentistry. For starters, the visible portion of your tooth that is covered in enamel is known as the crown. However, crown is also used to describe a dental restoration.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need crown lengthening?
You may need crown lengthening if you are having a dental restoration placed over an existing tooth that does not have enough surface exposed. This can happen as a result of damage, decay, or simply having small teeth. In some cases, crown lengthening procedures can also be performed to address a gummy smile where there is excess gum tissue that covers a large portion of the teeth. To determine if crown lengthening is right for you, schedule a consultation with our Flushing, Queens periodontist at New York Dental Solutions.
What can I expect when undergoing crown lengthening at New York Dental Solutions?
When undergoing crown lengthening at New York Dental Solutions, you can expect to undergo a minor oral surgery that will require local anesthesia. There are three techniques that could be used depending on the cause of excess gum tissue and the condition of your mouth. These techniques include:
During a gingivectomy, your periodontal surgeon will remove excess gum tissue using a dental laser or scalpel. Once the excess tissue has been removed, the remaining tissue will be contoured so that it has an aesthetically-pleasing appearance.
Apically Repositioned Flap Surgery
During this procedure, an incision is made in the gums to create a flap of gum tissue. Excess gum tissue, and sometimes bone, is removed from underneath the flap. Finally, the flap is positioned by the tooth root and sutured in place.
This procedure is used to move a tooth into a particular position. This approach is commonly used on teeth that have fractured below the gum line. In some cases, a wire and/or splint is used to anchor the affected tooth to the surrounding teeth. The gums are then sutured up around the base of the tooth.
What can I expect after undergoing crown lengthening?
After undergoing crown lengthening, you can expect some minor discomfort and/or swelling within the first few days. As such, you should not participate in strenuous activities for the first few days, including a physically demanding job, heavy lifting, and/or heavy exertion. You will likely not notice the full extent of your results until after the swelling in your gums goes down.
In order to ensure that your crown lengthening procedure heals properly, your periodontist will provide you with guidelines to follow after surgery.
At a glance, these can include:
- Diet: Eat soft foods for the first day and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot foods and beverages for the first day since they can cause excess bleeding or burns.
- Oral Hygiene: Gently rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. water) 24 hours after surgery, then 4-5 times daily for the first few days. Be gentle while brushing your teeth to prevent disturbance to the surgical site.
- Medications: Take any antibiotics or pain medications as directed.
- Activity: Rest for the first 2-3 days and start to resume normal activities no sooner than day 3 post op.