A crown is a tooth-shaped cap made to fit over the surface of a real tooth for aesthetic purposes or to restore that tooth’s structure and function. Dental Crowns are most often recommended when a tooth is damaged (cracked, chipped, fractured, broken) or deformed. Crowns can be used in a variety of treatments, from bridges to root canals, implants, and more. Today, we’ll walk you through one such procedure known as crown lengthening, answering some of the most frequent questions about what it is, how it works, and the risks vs. benefits of having it done.
If you or a loved one are considering seeking crown lengthening and have any questions not covered below or wish to schedule an appointment, call Dr. Hilton Israelson at (972) 669-9444.
What Is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a surgical, dental treatment in which more of your tooth’s surface is exposed.
Why Should I Undergo Crown Lengthening?
A properly fitted crown makes for a healthier tooth and improved oral hygiene as well as comfort. Some patients who want the procedure have too much gum tissue. In such cases, the teeth themselves are the correct length but appear too short. These people seek to have their “gummy smile” altered so more of their teeth can be visible above the gumline while smiling.
When Is Crown Lengthening Necessary?
People requiring crown lengthening are normally individuals lacking enough of a tooth in place to properly hold a crown, which brings the added risk of food or debris becoming more easily trapped. Teeth that have suffered damage or decay (especially below the gumline) might also prevent a crown from attaching on its own. Patients seeking this treatment may also suffer from a disproportionate gumline.
How Is The Procedure Done?
Prior to the actual surgery, you’ll have to go through a consultation. Dr. Israelson will go over your medical history and X-rays with you before having your records forwarded and scheduling a date for surgery (You may need to bring those records with you). You might also be required to get a professional cleaning before surgery, to eliminate any plaque or debris that may have accumulated around your gumline. We want your teeth in tip top shape after all for the best possible result.
If you choose to get the surgery before having a permanent crown placed, we may fit you with a temporary one that will later be removed during treatment. On the day of surgery, the procedure will begin with a local anesthetic so you will remain awake and aware without any concern of pain or discomfort. Dr. Israelson will then reshape and decrease your soft periodontal (gum) tissue by using the most precise instruments to cut minute sections of it away. If necessary, some of the supporting bone around the roots of your teeth will also be shaved down.
Upon completion of the surgery, Dr. Israelson will wash the area with a sterile saline solution. If any bone was trimmed, your gums would be stitched accordingly. The affected area may also be bandaged. As said, any temporary crowns will be replaced at the conclusion of the procedure.
How Long Does Crown Lengthening Take?
This is a common procedure, and patients are typically in the chair for less than an hour, though the exact time varies from patient to patient based on how many teeth must be treated and whether or not any bone had to be removed in addition to the soft tissues.
How Long Do Gums Take To Heal After Crown Lengthening?
It takes three months at minimum for your gums to completely recover after surgery.
What Are The Risks To Crown Lengthening?
||Patients may experience some bleeding in the affected area.
||Your teeth may temporarily become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
||The treated tooth might appear longer than your surrounding teeth.
||If bone was removed, your tooth may feel looser. If it should be lost or fall out for whatever reason in the future, the crown lengthening procedure could make placing a dental implant more challenging.