WHAT IS CROWN LENGTHENING?
Crown lengthening is conducted when the tooth which needs to be capped is severely broken, chipped, misshapen or is hidden under a gum giving little or no space for the crown to be fitted properly. This can hinder dental procedures such as fitting a bridge, conducting a root canal that requires a crown later on or even dental implants.
To fix this, periodontists contour the gum tissue, sometimes along with some bone removal, to expose more of the natural tooth so that it can hold the crown in place. This procedure is referred to as crown lengthening. It is a common dental procedure and is usually conducted in less than an hour time, after which you are free to go about your daily activities, provided they are not strenuous activities, requiring heavy lifting.
WHY GET CROWN LENGTHENING?
Crown lengthening is important in ensuring you have proper fitting crowns to maintain proper oral hygiene and prevent future gum-related issues or disorders. Crown lengthening is also conducted to improve the smile of people concerned with their “gummy smiles.” Gummy smiles are the ones that expose way too much of the gum instead of teeth when a person smiles. By conducting crown lengthening, your dental surgeon can remove the excess gum tissue to help expose more of your natural tooth, thereby helping you achieve that perfect smile.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Your first appointment for crown lengthening will require a detailed conversation with your periodontist, who will ask you questions about your medical history, medications that you take on a daily basis, and will study your x-rays to see how your teeth and roots are placed, before going further with the procedure.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCEDURE TAKE?
Crown lengthening procedures usually take less than an hour time to be completed. However, the time may differ depending on the complexity of the case and the number of teeth that will undergo the treatment. Whatever be the case, crown lengthening is an OPD procedure, which means you can head home soon after the treatment.
The procedure will involve removal of the gum tissues and bone of the affected tooth or teeth. If you have any temporary crown around the area of the procedure, then that will be removed as well and will be placed back once the procedure is over.
You will receive local anesthesia around the area of treatment. Some patients are given sedatives, too. The periodontist then cuts the gum and pulls them away from the affected teeth thereby exposing the bones and the roots. After that, the periodontist washes the area with saline water, applies sutures and a bandage over the area for added protection.
Post-treatment, you might experience some pain and sensitivity in the treated area, as the anesthesia wears off. You can start taking the painkillers that your periodontist will prescribe to ease the pain and use a mouth rinse to keep your mouth clean and assist your gums in healing quickly.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO HEAL?
The gums generally heal over a period of three months; however, you can get back to your normal routines in two to three days. You will need to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities that might put pressure on your jaws and gum leading to excessive bleeding and delayed healing.
TIPS TO DEAL WITH POST-TREATMENT PAIN OR DISCOMFORT
You can use an ice pack post the procedure to aid healing by soothing the treated area and helping the blood clot and the wound to dry up. It will also help to reduce the swelling. Use the ice pack on and off every 20 minutes for the first two days of the surgery. Your periodontist might recommend some more dos and don’ts, post-treatment.
Make sure you avoid hot foods for the first 24 hours post-surgery as it might cause sensitivity and irritation in the affected area. Also avoid rinsing your mouth till you are certain the bleeding has stopped, and it has been over 24 hours since the surgery.
Your oral hygiene should not take a back seat given the procedure. Continue to brush gently, as soon as your periodontist says it’s okay to resume brushing and floss normally in the unaffected areas. Rinse your mouth with a specialized mouthwash, slowly swishing it in your mouth. Avoid spitting in the first 24 hours as it might lead the clot to dislodge and bleeding to occur.
Dental procedures are becoming more evolved, painless, and effective by the day helping you achieve that perfect smile and ensure good oral health in an easier way than ever.
Get in touch with our staff at Somi Dental Group for more information or to schedule a crown lengthening procedure. Call us or fill out the provided form and we will get back to you right away!