Crown lengthening is a common dental procedure that removes gums or bones to expose more teeth. There are basically three reasons for crown lengthening: to fix a gummy smile, to prepare the tooth for a procedure and to improve health of the gum. A gummy smile is a condition when
Preparation for the procedure takes a few visits to your periodontist. He or she will review your medical history and ask for necessary X-rays and tests to come up with full assessment. If you need crown lengthening, the surgery will be set as soon as possible. You may need to have your teeth cleaned before the procedure. If you need a crown, the dentist will place a temporary one to protect the tooth while determining the extent of gum or bone removal to be done. Healing process may last for three months before a new temporary crown is made for the new lengthened tooth. A final crown will be placed when the area is totally healed.
On the average, crown lengthening lasts for an hour. If there are more teeth involved, it may take longer than that. Local anesthesia is used for the procedure. If only the soft tissue needs to be removed, the procedure will be shorter than when it involves bone and soft tissue removal.
The periodontist will make the necessary incisions to pull away gums from tooth. This will expose the tooth’s roots and adjacent bone. There are instances when a little gum tissue removal is enough to expose the tooth. In other cases though, part of the bone may have to be removed as well. When enough tooth has been exposed, the area will be cleaned using sterile salt water before stitching the gums together. Pain medication may be prescribed for you. Be careful when brushing near the stitches to avoid excessive bleeding. Don’t brush the gums for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
The surgical area may swell within the first few hours after the procedure. You may place an ice pack over it to reduce the swelling. If you feel pain, you may take the prescribed pain medication. Your stitches will be removed after 7 to 10 days while follow-up visit is required after 4 to 6 weeks. Usually, the gums take about three months to heal. Follow-up procedures will be done after that time frame to give your bones time to shrink.
Bleeding and infection are some of the risks of crown lengthening surgery. You need to call your dentist ASAP if you noticed any unusual bleeding or infection developing. Complete healing varies from person to person and the extent of the surgical procedure.