Crown Lengthening: Procedure and Healing

Crown Lengthening: Procedure and Healing

Smiling is one of the most beautiful features in all of us. Sadly, some people don’t like their smile because of their crooked teeth, a stained tooth or a gummy smile. Any of these or other dental problems have a solution, especially if you know where to get the right dental treatment.

A gummy smile for example, happens when the upper teeth are overshadowed by excessive gum tissue, but this can be solved by removing the excess of gum tissue to create a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. This surgical procedure is known as crown lengthening.

What Is Crown Lengthening?

It’s a very common surgical procedure performed to remove excessive gum tissue, bone or both to expose more of the teeth. Sometimes, it’s also done when a tooth needs to be fixed and there’s not enough of the tooth sticks out above the gum to support a filling or crown.

Like we said previously, crown lengthening is used to increase the teeth length and to expose sufficient quantity of healthy dental structure to treat caries and dental fractures.

Procedure’s Steps

First of all, if the patient has temporary crowns on any of the involved teeth during the procedure, the crowns have to be removed before the surgery begins. In the end, your periodontist will have to put them back.

Crown lengthening is done using local anesthesia, and how long the procedure lasts will depend on the number of teeth that need treatment. It’s important to recall that even if only one tooth is involved, crown lengthening typically includes neighboring teeth, too.
If during surgery both bone and soft tissue are removed, the procedure will take longer than if only soft tissue is removed.
The periodontist will make cuts that will pull the gums away from the teeth, exposing the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone. Once the surgeon has exposed enough tooth, the surgical area will be washed with sterile salt water and the gums will be stitched together.

Aftercare and Follow-Up

We recommend our patients not to drive after leaving the dentist’s office the day of the surgery, even though local anesthesia was used, it’s better to ask a friend or family member to drive you home.
Once the patient’s home, he or she will have to follow the next instructions:

  • Use ice on their face over the area of surgery. Apply the ice pack for about 20 minutes every 10 minutes for 24 hours. This will reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Take the pain medications and antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Avoid extremely hot or cold food and beverages
  • Expect minor bleeding
  • Rinse as instructed by your doctor.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages and smoking.
  • No exercise for the next 7 days.

Before leaving the dentist’s clinic, book a follow-up appointment. Your stitches need to be taken out after one week after the surgery, and your periodontist has to check that everything is healing properly. Usually, the patient has to go back again 4 to 6 weeks later for a follow-up visit.


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