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Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is performed to re-contour the gum tissue and expose more of a tooth’s surface and extend the height of the portion of the tooth that is above the gum line.

When part of a tooth is missing, crown lengthening is performed to recreate the needed amount of exposed tooth so that restorative dental procedures are successful.

Is crown lengthening necessary?

Crown lengthening is essential when there is tooth decay that is not easily accessible. This decay is typically burrowed deep beneath the gum line. No matter what methods they use, dentists cannot efficiently access tooth decay without performing a crown lengthening procedure.

Many dental conditions require crown lengthening. A few common ones include severe tooth decay below the gums and teeth that have fractured and broken beneath the gum line. A crown lengthening procedure reduces the jawbone level and surrounding gum tissue to increase access to the respective teeth.

How painful is a crown lengthening procedure? 

This procedure requires you to be put under local anesthesia so you don’t feel pain. The periodontist will then surgically cut into the gum and expose the tooth root and jawbone.

How long does a crown lengthening procedure last?

Crown lengthening or crown extensions procedures usually last less than an hour. They use specialized surgical instruments to re-contour the gum tissue and the underlying bone around the tooth. Subsequently, they only affect the gum tissue that is in the immediate area surrounding the respective tooth, and there is typically no risk to any adjacent teeth.

Who can perform a crown lengthening surgery?

A board-certified periodontist performs the crown lengthening surgery under a local anesthetic, with sedation for patients who desire it. They decrease and re-shape the target section of the gums through the eradication of modest amounts of gum tissue. The aim is to lengthen the relevant teeth and create a more symmetrical gum line.

How long does it take to heal from crown lengthening?

In most cases, crown extensions do not require additional post-operative care. Any pain can be managed with ibuprofen. Crown lengthening patients typically return to work and begin eating soft foods the day after dental surgery, and crown lengthening recovery time is generally one or two weeks. This simple dental procedure goes a long way in guaranteeing a healthy, long-lasting crown restoration.

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FAQ for Crown Lengthening

Generally, crown lengthening isn’t a painful procedure since patients get it under the influence of local anesthesia, so they don’t feel any discomfort. However, they may experience some pain when the anesthesia wears off, for which dentists prescribe pain relievers.

You should avoid spicy, salty, acidic, very hot, or very cold foods or liquids. Additionally, you should refrain from eating nuts, chips, or other crunchy or fibrous foods as they may get caught between your teeth. Smoking or drinking of carbonated or alcoholic beverages through a straw are strictly prohibited 48 hours following surgery.

If you experience symptoms like redness, excessive pain, fever, severe swelling, or discolored gum tissue after surgery. In that case, they are not resolving themselves or even getting worse. Therefore, your crown lengthening is infected, and you need to consult or visit your dentist.

In some cases, adjusting the bone level to extend the size of the visible tooth becomes necessary, and dentists complete the procedure by cleaning and sterilizing the area. Therefore, you may require a few stitches to prevent infection based on your treatment.