You’ve never been thrilled with your gummy smile, but you’ve always believed there was nothing much that could be done to fix it. After learning that you have a decayed tooth that needs restorative treatment, you prepare yourself for what is likely to be a dental crown. But suddenly you learn you need an additional procedure before you can better protect your vulnerable tooth. Why is your dentist recommending crown lengthening? The answer might surprise you.
What is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is the process of removing excess gum tissue that surrounds the teeth, bone, or both so that more of the tooth structure is exposed for the purpose of placing a customized restoration.
The term is often interchangeable with gum recontouring; however, the ultimate goal of each is different. While one focuses more on cosmetic purposes, the other serves as a more restorative service.
How Do I Know if I Need Crown Lengthening?
There are a few reasons your dentist might recommend crown lengthening, some of which include:
- You need restorative treatment but your gumline hides too much of your natural tooth structure
- The existing tooth is not strong enough for a customized restoration, so more tooth structure needs to be exposed
- A tooth breaks off at your gumline
When meeting with your dentist, they will go over the reason for your treatment and how it will benefit you in the long run.
What Can You Expect?
Based on your dentist’s findings during your initial appointment, different types of surgery can be performed as it pertains to crown lengthening. They will take into consideration if you have suffered any bone loss, the look of your tooth root, the ratio between your root and crown, the positioning of the tooth, and the type of restorative care you need.
You will receive local anesthesia before the procedure begins so that you are fully relaxed and comfortable throughout your surgery. A skilled professional will then use appropriate dental instruments to remove the excess gum tissue and/or bone. Depending on how much area needs to be treated, the length of your surgery will vary.
Once completed, you will return home to recover, taking any anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and remain comfortable. A soft food diet is necessary to minimize additional pressure on your mouth, and you’ll need to be careful when cleaning your teeth and gums.
Depending on where inside your mouth the procedure was performed, you can expect there to be 6-12 weeks of recovery for areas toward the back of the mouth, and 3-6 months for those toward the front.
Crown lengthening offers tremendous benefits if you need help to better protect vulnerable teeth. By undergoing this unique procedure, you will set your smile up for a successful future.
About the Practice
Pelican Landing Dental consists of multiple dental experts who care about patients’ smiles. When excess gum tissue makes it difficult and even impossible to provide restorative care, we can implement a treatment plan that includes crown lengthening. Contact us via the website or call (239) 948-2111 to learn how we can help you.