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Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is typically conducted to enhance gum tissue health or prepare the oral cavity for restorative or cosmetic procedures like Crowns, Veneers, or Cosmetic Fillings. This procedure becomes necessary when tooth decay extends below the gum line, requiring exposure for effective treatment with restorations such as fillings or crowns. Additionally, it can address a "gummy" smile by reshaping bone and gum tissue to reveal more of the natural tooth, creating a visually appealing smile.

Esthetic Crown Lengthening

Indications for Crown Lengthening

  1. Restoration of damaged teeth: Periodontal disease, trauma, or decay (cavity) can damage teeth below the gum line. When this happens, your dentist will not be able to place a filling because the gums are in the way. Crown lengthening allows to expose the entire cavity so that your Dentist can proceed with placing a filling free of voids or remaining decay. Of course, your Periodontist would have to make sure your tooth is a candidate for this procedure.

  2. Cosmetic purposes: Excessive gum tissue can make teeth appear unnaturally short and square-shaped, increasing the risk of periodontal infections. Removing excess gum tissue enhances the balanced, healthy look of teeth and improves overall smile aesthetics.

  3. Dental crowns: In cases where dental crowns are fabricated too close to the underlying bone, crown lengthening creates more space between the jawbone and crown. This prevents irritation, bleeding, and bone loss, known as biologic width violation, ensuring the long-term health of gum tissues and bone.

The Crown Lengthening Procedure

Crown lengthening procedure

The crown lengthening procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, and the duration depends on the number of teeth involved. A temporary crown may be placed before the procedure, with the actual process involving small incisions to separate gums from teeth, providing access to roots and underlying bone. Tissue and, in some cases, bone removal are conducted using specialized instruments, resulting in immediately noticeable changes in tooth length.

Post-surgery, a periodontal dressing or bandage is applied to the surgery area to prevent infection, and prescriptions may be given for pain medication and antimicrobial mouth rinse. Complete healing of the surgical site usually takes two to five months. Patients who undergo crown lengthening are generally pleased with the effective results achieved through this versatile procedure.

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