You may need a crown lengthening procedure if there isn’t enough of a tooth remaining to which a crown can be affixed. A tooth that has been broken or damaged severely by decay may prevent a crown from attaching properly. In these cases, we use crown lengthening in order to securely and firmly attach the crown.
During this procedure, we will shave down bone to allow more of the tooth surface to appear above the surface of the gum. This will then allow us to adhere the crown properly, ensuring an ideal fit.
Crown lengthening can also be performed to help patients who have what we refer to as a “gummy smile.” When too much of the gum is visible when smiling, a crown lengthening procedure will allow more of the tooth to show.
Crown lengthening is an outpatient procedure performed in our office. The amount of time the procedure will take depends on the number of teeth that we are lengthening, as well as if we will need to remove soft tissue or bone during the procedure. A local anesthetic and sedative will be given, then we will cut the gums to pull them away from the teeth. In most cases, only gum tissue will need to be removed. Then, we will rinse the area and stitch the gums back together.
You will feel some discomfort after the procedure, so we will prescribe pain medication and a special rinse to help promote healing. Total recovery time will be approximately three months; however, you can resume normal activities as your gums heal. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling, avoid hot foods and rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours. Your dressings should remain in place for seven to 14 days. Brush and floss gently and eat soft foods until your soreness has subsided. Avoid alcohol and tobacco products until the area has healed completely.