Crown lengthening is a minor surgery you can get as an outpatient in our Brooklyn cosmetic dentistry center. The procedure is performed when you need implants or a new crown, and you don’t have enough teeth showing above the gum line. You need to attach the new tooth to your gum line. It can also be done if your jawbone has shrunk. It’s not a purely cosmetic procedure and may be covered by insurance. You may experience minor pain following a crown lengthening surgery, but your team at Broadway Family Dental takes care of you to ensure your ultimate comfort during and after the procedure.
What Is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening involves the surgical removal of a small amount of gum tissue, bone, or both to expose more of the tooth’s healthy surface. It is often performed to improve the appearance of a tooth that is too short or to prepare a tooth for a restorative procedure such as a crown or dental bridges.
The procedure is performed by a periodontist, a dental specialist who focuses on treating conditions that affect the tissues supporting your teeth. Crown lengthening is usually done under local anesthesia and may be performed on one tooth or multiple teeth at the same time.
After the procedure, the gum tissue will take several weeks to heal, and the final result may not be visible until the healing is complete. It is important to follow the periodontist’s instructions for post-operative care to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.
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Reasons for Crown Lengthening
There are several reasons why a person may need crown lengthening surgery. Some common indications for this procedure include:
- Improving the appearance of a tooth that is too short: Short teeth may be difficult to properly clean and maintain, which can lead to decay and other problems. Crown lengthening can expose more of the tooth, making it easier to care for and improving its appearance.
- Preparing a tooth for a restorative procedure: Crown lengthening may be necessary to prepare a tooth for a crown, bridge, or other restorative procedure. If there is not enough tooth structure above the gum line, the restorative material may not have enough support and could fail.
- Correcting gum problems: Crown lengthening may be needed to correct problems with the gum tissue, such as excess gum tissue or uneven gum lines.
- Treating tooth decay: In some cases, crown lengthening may be necessary to remove decay from the tooth or to prepare the tooth for a filling.
It is important to discuss the specific reasons for crown lengthening with a dental professional, as well as the potential risks and benefits of the procedure.
What Does Crown Lengthening Involve?
The procedure begins with the administration of local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth or teeth being treated. Once the patient is comfortable and the area is numb, the periodontist will make a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the bone around the tooth.
Next, the periodontist will use a surgical instrument to remove a small amount of bone and/or gum tissue from around the tooth, as needed, to expose more of the tooth. The goal is to create a more natural and esthetically pleasing appearance or to prepare the tooth for a restorative procedure such as a crown or bridge.
Once the desired amount of tissue has been removed, the periodontist will close the incision with sutures and place a dressing over the area. The patient will be given instructions for post-operative care, which may include taking medications to manage pain and swelling and practicing good oral hygiene to prevent infection.
What Are The Risks of Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is generally a safe and effective procedure, but like any surgery, it carries some risks. Some possible complications of crown lengthening include:
- Infection: There is a risk of infection at the surgical site, which may be treated with antibiotics.
- Bleeding: Bleeding is a common side effect of surgery, and the periodontist will take steps to minimize bleeding during the procedure.
- Pain and discomfort: The patient may experience pain and discomfort after the procedure, which can usually be managed with pain medication.
- Swelling: Swelling is a normal part of the healing process, and the periodontist may recommend cold compresses to help reduce swelling.
- Allergic reactions: There is a risk of allergic reactions to the anesthetics used during the procedure.
- Damage to the tooth or surrounding tissues: There is a risk of damaging the tooth or surrounding tissues during the procedure.
- Changes in the appearance of the gum line: The final appearance of the gum line may not be exactly as the patient or the periodontist had intended.
What Is Aftercare For Crown Lengthening Surgery?
Aftercare for crown lengthening surgery is an important aspect of the recovery process. The periodontist will provide specific instructions for post-operative care, which may include the following:
- Managing pain and swelling: The periodontist may prescribe medication to help manage any discomfort or swelling after the procedure. It is important to take these medications as directed.
- Keeping the area clean: Your doctor will provide instructions for keeping the surgical site clean, which may include rinsing with a saltwater solution and using special mouthwash.
- Eating and drinking: The specialist may recommend avoiding certain foods and drinks for the first few days after the procedure, especially anything hot, hard, or spicy. Soft, cool foods and beverages may be easier to tolerate.
- Brushing and flossing: The periodontist will advise the patient on when to resume brushing and flossing and will provide instructions for proper oral hygiene. It is important to follow these instructions to prevent infection and promote healing.
- Follow-up care: The doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to check on the patient’s progress and to remove any sutures, if necessary. It is important to attend all follow-up appointments as scheduled.
Following the instructions for post-operative care is essential for ensuring a smooth recovery and minimizing the risk of complications after crown lengthening surgery.
If you have questions about crown lengthening or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dehkytar, contact our office today.
(Bushwick, Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant)
☎ (718) 455-4400