For some patients, a crown lengthening procedure will be part of a custom-tailored treatment plan developed to resolve a dental problem.
This procedure is performed to improve gum tissue health, or to prepare the area for a restoration or for a cosmetic enhancement. Crown lengthening is also commonly used to treat patients who wish to correct the appearance of a “gummy” smile, caused by excess tissue covering too much of the tooth.
Crown lengthening works to reveal more of the natural tooth through a process that reshapes or recontours both gum and bone, and may be an appropriate treatment for a single tooth or several teeth, or the complete gum line, depending upon the unique issues of the patient. After the procedure is complete, the patient will have a more aesthetically pleasing smile, without excess gum tissue.
HOW DOES A CROWN LENGTHENING PROCEDURE WORK?
Every person has a unique situation they are trying to resolve. In some cases, more of the tooth structure needs to be exposed so a restoration (such as a crown or an implant) can be placed. Generally, the procedure involves the following steps:
- The area to be treated is numbed with local anesthetic.
- Crowns in the area to be treated will be removed, to be replaced after treatment.
- Small incisions are made around the soft tissue where the gum meets the tooth, to separate them. This provides access to the tooth root and underlying bone structure.
- A small amount of tissue is removed in some cases, providing sufficient room to place a crown. In other cases, a very small amount of bone will be removed from around the teeth. Hand instruments are used for this procedure.
- After completion, the tooth or teeth treated appear longer, as the gum tissue has been reshaped.
- The site is then secured with a special bandaging material that helps to prevent the onset of infection.
- You may be prescribed pain medication and antibiotics, as well as a special mouthwash to reduce bacteria growth while healing. It will require two to three months for the area to be completely healed.
At Brighton Dental, our highly-trained dentist, Dr. Paige Woods, will explain every detail to you so you understand the procedure and what to expect. When a series of teeth are treated, the appointment is naturally longer than treating a single tooth. Every patient is different, but you can trust our team to make the process as comfortable as possible, and to use the most advanced procedures from start to finish.