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Crown Lengthening

What is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is a dental procedure where the natural teeth that have been sunk inside an excess gum and bone are exposed more by reshaping it surgically. This makes the tooth appear short which are unaesthetic. The Crown lengthening procedure can be done for multiple teeth or a single tooth.

When is Crown Lengthening required?

Crown lengthening can opt under two scenarios.

- When most of the teeth are buried inside the gum tissues and is termed as a “gummy smile”.

- When a single tooth falls off or gets chipped nearer to the gumline it necessitates crown lengthening for placing the crown.

- It can also be opted to expose healthy dental structure above the gumline in case of dental caries that has affected the tooth layer between the two teeth (interproximal caries).

- When there is gum overgrowth like in drug-induced.

Are there Types of Stains?

Yes, there are two types of stains, namely intrinsic and extrinsic stain that can happen to your teeth.

Procedures in Crown Lengthening – Correction of Gummy Smile Alone

  • A local anesthesia is first administered.
  • The dentist then begins to make cuts on the gumline that surrounds the teeth.
  • Specialized surgical scalpels or sometimes laser is used to contour the gumline.
  • Sometimes the underlying bone tissues might also be sculpted and shaped according to the needs.
  • Once the dentist determines that appropriate gum or bone tissues have been removed to expose the right amount of teeth, the dentist then proceeds to suture and cover the surgical area with a sterile bandage.

Procedures in Crown Lengthening – In case of single tooth fracturing and preparing the tooth for a Crown

  • In this scenario, the dentist would do a professional cleaning of the dental area first.
  • The dentist makes cuts on the gumline that surrounds the intended tooth and the neighboring teeth to get a fair shape.
  • The gum tissues and the bone tissues surrounding the intended tooth and its neighboring teeth are contoured.
  • Once the dentist is convinced on the length of the tooth exposed, the dentist proceeds to place the crown.

Post-surgical care after Crown Lengthening Procedure

  • The surgical wound may take two weeks to heal.
  • The dentist would recommend what type of diet to take as the wound heals. Mostly soft and liquid diets are recommended.
  • Pain relievers and other medications are prescribed by the dentist which needs to be diligently taken.
  • Your dentist will tell you how to brush and floss the oral region. The dentist might ask you to avoid the surgical area while you brush and floss.
  • Your dentist would prescribe a mouthwash that should be used for rinsing the mouth thoroughly after consuming food.
  • The next visit can be planned to remove the sutures if there are.
  • Another visit to the dentist is required to check how well the surgical wounds have healed and how your gummy smile has resolved.
  • In case the crown lengthening procedure is done for crown placement on a single tooth, you may be adviced by the dentist when to visit next to prepare for crown placement. Usually, a sound wound healing is advised before the crown is placed.

Risks – What to watch out for during the post-surgical period

If you have any one of the three conditions outlined below, visit your dentist immediately to get them resolved.

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling in the area is not subsiding and there is a discharge
  • If there is any lump beneath the lower jaw or in the neck region

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