Crown lengthening is a process of reshaping the bone and gums around a single tooth or multiple teeth in order to expose more of the tooth structure.
Crown Lengthening is performed with local anesthetic. Even if only one tooth requires the re-contour, neighboring teeth are usually treated to provide a more even reshaping. Although sometimes just removing the excess gums is enough, other times removal of some bone is required to maintain the gums at that level. In cases where a crown or filling is planned after the surgery, the gums require 4-6 weeks of healing.
Reasons for crown lengthening
Restoration of damaged teeth – When a tooth has been broken or there is decay that extends underneath the gums, crown lengthening is required to expose the defect so it can be properly addressed by your dentist.
Cosmetic uses – Extra gum tissue can make teeth look unnaturally short, and also increase susceptibility to periodontal infections. Removing this excess gum tissue can restore a balanced, healthy look and thus improve the aesthetic appearance of the smile.
Dental crowns – Crown lengthening serves to provide more space between the supporting jawbone and dental crown. This prevents the new crown from damaging gum tissues and bone once it is in place.
Crown Lengthening Q&A
When can I return back to work?
Although it is recommended to rest for the day of surgery, many patients are ready to return to work the next day.
What are the side effects of Crown Lengthening?
Because recession is forced to expose more tooth structure, it can result in temporary or long term sensitivity. Larger spaces between your teeth which can become a food catch is also to be expected. However, these areas are easy to clean and should be often.
When can I return to regular fitness routine?
It is recommend to avoid any strenuous activity for a week following the procedure. This is recommended so as to avoid any unnecessary bleeding or swelling of the surgical site.
What other instructions should I be prepared to follow after this procedure?
Icing of the area will be critical for the first 3 days to reduce swelling. A softer diet or chewing on the other side of the mouth is recommended so as not to disturb the surgical site. You should avoid sleeping on the side of surgery for 3 days.
For more information on this procedure and other important dental health topics, please see the following link: Canadian Academy of Periodontology