When you think of periodontal dental surgery in relation to your gums, you may think of receding gumlines as the reason for treatment. But with cases of a high gum line in some patients, a crown lengthening procedure can be beneficial to reveal the fullness of the actual tooth length. You’re not actually extending the length of the tooth itself, but exposing the entirety of itself by working to reduce the gum line.
Why Would You Need Crown Lengthening?
For some, the aesthetics of a smaller tooth or teeth is an undesirable look; if you can afford a new smile and boost your confidence in the process, then why not? Another reason that patients may consider this procedure is because the crowding caused by excessive gum coverage makes it more challenging to keep good dental hygiene practices. Finally, the most common reason for crown lengthening is to make it possible for another necessary dental procedure such as tooth capping, a filling, repairing a cracked tooth, or instilling a bridge when an issue lies beneath the gum line.
What’s the Procedure?
The crown lengthening process is a reshaping of the gums around all of your teeth or maybe just one tooth. An x-ray must be performed, as well as a review of your dental health to ensure you are a healthy candidate for the procedure. Your teeth will be cleaned prior to the surgery and you may be administered a local anesthetic, if necessary. The amount of time it takes can very depending on how much of the gums will be removed or repositioned or if any bone will need to be removed.
After the procedure, you will have a sterilizing salt water rinse; sutures and bandages will be applied if needed and you will most likely receive a prescription for pain relief while you heal. Your periodontist will give you instructions on self-care in the coming months – including a dietary recommendation, how to brush and care for your mouth, cold pack applications for swelling (which is only temporary.)
6 weeks post op, you will return to your dental provider to have any stitches taken out and another follow up visit to ensure proper healing. After about 3 months, your permanent dental crown will be installed to replace any temporary crowns.
Once you’ve healed and post-op follow up appointments are complete, you can enjoy the benefits of a beautiful smile!