What Is Crown Lengthening?

If when you smile, you notice you have an excessive amount of gum tissue and not as much tooth surface showing, you may need the crown lengthening procedure. You have what is called a gummy smile, where you have a lot of gum tissue that is covering your teeth. Some people don't like the appearance of their smile from this issue, or they need a dental procedure performed by someone like Dr Steve Mocrae that requires more of the tooth to be exposed. Either way, here is more information about the crown lengthening procedure.

How is Crown Lengthening Done?

Crown lengthening is a very common dental procedure that allows more of your teeth to be exposed. It is most often done when you need dental work, such as a crown, hence the name. However, it is also frequently done by choice to reduce the excessive amount of gum tissue. The procedure begins by getting your teeth cleaned thoroughly. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area. The dentist then cuts into the gums to pull them away from the teeth being treated to expose the bone and roots. Some of this gum tissue is removed, as well as small amounts of bone near the roots of the teeth. The gums remaining are then stitched together, followed by a bandage.

What is the Recovery Process Like?

The first several hours after the anesthesia wears off will be the most difficult part of the recovery process. You may experience some pain or discomfort from the cutting of the gums and the bone. You can either take an over-the-counter pain reliever or a prescription medication to reduce pain. It is also important that you take any antibiotics that were prescribed by your dentist. A mouth rinse may also be needed to keep the area clean. You will need to brush your teeth, but do so very gently and avoid brushing the gums. A toothpick can help remove food particles near the gums where you can't use a toothbrush.

For eating after the procedure, follow a liquid or soft foods diet until the gums start to heal. This will make it easier to eat and reduces pain caused by the stitches. You will need to return to your dentist for a follow-up appointment about a week after the procedure to get the stitches removed.

Are There Any Risks?

The crown lengthening procedure is a routine procedure performed often by dentists. While it is done frequently, there are a few minor risks. The first is the pain and discomfort you might experience after the procedure, though this is a temporary side effect. You also have a risk of bleeding. If you suffer from a blood clotting disorder, make sure you inform your dentist of this before getting the procedure. A risk of infection is something to be concerned about, which is why you need to keep it clean and take your antibiotics.