What is a crown lengthening procedure?
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps applied onto our natural teeth, for both aesthetic and structural purposed. Generally, in the even a patient cracks or breaks part of their tooth, a dental crown may be applied in order to cover it and give the appearance of a normal tooth. A crown can also be used to complete dental procedures, such as bridges, root canals, and dental implants. Crowns must be able to firmly affix to an existing tooth.

A crown lengthening is a periodontal procedure that is performed by recontouring the gum tissue, and sometimes the bone matter, in order to expose more of a tooth’s surface if needed to properly fit a crown. This is a fairly simple and relatively common procedure.

Why Crown Lengthening?
In the event there isn’t enough of a tooth exposed in order for a crown to be properly fit on, a crown lengthening may become necessary. Those with severely chipped or broken teeth and those with severe tooth decay, may be in need of a crown lengthening – as these issues prevent the crown from attaching as well.

Crown lengthening reduces gum tissue and shaves down bone when necessary so more of the tooth is above the gum’s surface. A properly fitted crown allows for better oral hygiene and comfort. In addition, some patients may seek out a lengthening for cosmetic reasons, in order to alter a gummy smile.

Crown Lengthening Procedure
The length of the procedure varies depending on the number of teeth that need the procedure and if both soft tissue and bone need to be removed. If you have a temporary crown on any of your neighboring teeth, Dr. Malakov may remove them before the procedure and replace them afterward. Most people receive local anesthesia and may receive a sedative as well. The periodontist cuts the gums to pull them away from the teeth, exposing the roots and bone. In some cases, only the gum tissue needs to be removed. We will then wash the surgical area with saltwater before suturing. They suture the gums back together, sometimes placing a bandage over the area for additional protection.

After the procedure you might feel some pain, depending on the specific procedure, we may recommend OTC pain relievers and a specialized mouth rinse to help your gums heal. In addition, we will advise you on the proper steps to take in order to heal faster and most effectively.

For more information on this procedure or more, be sure to contact us today.