Crown Lengthening is performed on a single tooth, many teeth or the entire gum line, to expose an aesthetically pleasing smile. Crown lengthening is a procedure that has many effective uses and benefits.
Here are some of the reasons why crown lengthening is recommended:
- Restore damaged teeth – Periodontal disease can cause severe damage to the teeth, as can trauma and decay. Where teeth have been broken beneath the gum line, crown lengthening can be used to prepare the area for a new restoration and correct the damaged teeth.
- Cosmetic – Too much gum tissue can make teeth look short and can increase susceptibility to periodontal disease. Removing excessive gum tissue can restore a more balanced with a healthier look. It can also improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile.
- Stronger Dental crowns – Crown lengthening can provide more space for the dental crown. This can minimise the new crown from damaging gum and bone once it is inserted.
What does crown lengthening involve?
Crown lengthening is normally performed under local anesthetic. The amount of time this procedure takes will largely depend in how many teeth are involved and whether a small amount of bone needs to be removed, in addition to the soft tissue. Any existing dental crowns will be removed prior to the procedure, and replaced immediately afterwards.
The dentist will make a series of small incisions around the soft tissue in order to separate the gums away from the teeth. Even if only one tooth requires the re-contour, neighboring teeth are usually treated to provide a more even reshaping. Separating the gums provides the dentist with access to the roots of the teeth and the underlying bone.
In some cases, the removal of a small amount of tissue will provide enough tooth exposure to place a crown. In other cases, the dentist will also need to remove a small amount of bone from around the teeth. The bone is usually removed using a combination of special hand instruments, and rotary instruments. The rotary instruments roughly resemble the drill that is used in cavity treatment.
When the dentist is satisfied the teeth have sufficient exposure, the wound will be cleaned with sterile water and the gum tissue will be sutured with small stitches. The teeth will look noticeably longer immediately after surgery because the gums have now been repositioned.
The dentist will secure the surgical site using an intraoral (periodontal) bandage, which serves to prevent infection. Prescriptions may be provided for pain medication, and a chlorhexidine (antimicrobial) mouth rinse may be given to help reduce any bacteria attempting to re-colonize. The surgical site will be completely healed in approximately two to three months.