What is crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a common procedure that your dentist does to expose more of your tooth either to give you a broader smile or to fix a tooth that’s broken. Some people have a lot of gum tissue around their upper teeth, giving them a “gummy smile” and crown lengthening exposes more of the tooth to give them a more natural, broad smile.
Other times, crown lengthening is an important step in preparing your tooth for a crown. When a tooth is decayed or broken below the gum line, or not enough of the tooth is exposed to put in a filling or a crown, the
What happens when I get this procedure?
Crown lengthening is a simple procedure usually done at the dentist’s office using local anesthesia. During the procedure, your dentist reshapes the excess gum and bone tissue to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to just one tooth, to your whole gum line, or to several teeth. If you have a temporary crown in place, the dentist will remove it before beginning surgery and replace it afterwards. The dentist then makes cuts to the gum tissue to pull the gum away from the tooth. This gives the dentist access to the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone. In some cases, removal of just a little gum tissue is all that’s needed. After enough of the tooth is exposed, the area is washed with saline water and the gums are stitched back together.
What happens afterwards?
About a week after the procedure, your dentist will remove the stitches, and then your tooth will need to heal before a crown or filling is put in. The area may also bleed for a while, and some people find that their teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold. This is because the roots of the teeth are now exposed. The sensitivity should go away in time, or when a crown is put on the tooth. Also, because some gum tissue has been removed, the treated tooth may look longer than the teeth next to it.
Talk to your Chandler dentist for details about how to care for your teeth and gums both before and after this procedure.