Crown lengthening is a common surgery performed by a periodontist to expose more of the tooth's structure so that it will be restored prosthetically afterwards. In this procedure, either a bone or gum tissue is taken out from the patient's gums.
Frequently, the tooth's structure that comes out above the gum is not enough to hold a crown. This is the result of the breakage of the tooth at the gum line and the fall-off of the crown from a tooth because there is decay underneath. This is the time when your tooth needs some fixing.
To do so, the periodontist will expose more of your tooth by removing some of your bones or gum tissues. Some may have excessive gum tissues. Periodontists call this as the "gummy smile". This can also be corrected by means of crown lengthening.
Before you undergo a crown lengthening procedure, you will be required to consult a periodontist first. During the consultation, the periodontist will review your X-rays and medical history. He will also schedule the date of your surgery. You may also be required to get a professional tooth cleaning beforehand.
The periodontist will put a temporary crown if your tooth needs it in order to protect the tooth. This will also make the procedure easier as the surgeon can easily see how much of the tissue or bone needs elimination.
Typically, it takes 3 months for the wound on your gum to heal. After it has been fully healed, the dentist will prepare the tooth again for another crown placement. This will be the final crown for your tooth.
1. Crown lengthening procedure starts with the administration of local anesthesia. The time duration for this procedure will depend on the number of teeth that need treatment. Oftentimes, this is done on more than one tooth so that the gum tissue with be reshaped continuously. The procedure may take more time if both soft tissue and bone need to be removed.
2. To pull the gums away from the teeth, the periodontist will make cuts into it. This is done to expose the surrounding bone and the roots of the teeth. Sometimes, the removal of little gum tissues is enough to expose the tooth area needed for crown placement. But in most cases, some of the bones around the roots of the teeth are removed by the periodontist.
3. After exposing enough tooth structure, the area will be washed with sterilized salt water and will be stitched. The dentist may also put a bandage on the surgical area to stop the bleeding.
If a temporary crown is placed on any teeth that need crown lengthening, it will be removed before the procedure starts. After the surgery, the crown will be placed in the tooth again.
4. Pain relievers and a mouth rinse will be prescribed to you after the procedure. The dentist will also suggest a soft diet for you to follow. Brushing the teeth on the surgical area is allowed; just remember to avoid brushing the gums. Remove food bits from your teeth using a water irrigator or a toothpick.
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