Crown Lengthening

We are pleased to offer our patients a wide variety of services to meet their restorative and cosmetic needs. By personalizing our approach to every concern and need, we maximize the potential of each treatment to achieve an outcome that will improve a person’s appreciation for their own smile.

What Is Crown Lengthening?

Young woman at the dentist preparing for crown lengthening procedure

Crown lengthening is a minor oral surgery procedure that is performed to improve the appearance or health of the gums and teeth. The treatment is intended to expose more natural tooth structure by reshaping the gums and, in some cases, bone tissue. Crown lengthening can be performed on one or more teeth at a time. 

Candidates For Dental Crown Lengthening 

There are cosmetic and functional reasons for undergoing the crown lengthening procedure. Some patients choose to undergo this procedure to improve the cosmetic value of their smile, while others are advised to obtain treatment to expose more anatomical structure before a restorative procedure. 

When Is Crown Lengthening Needed?

We may suggest crown lengthening for restorative, cosmetic, or functional reasons:

  • Restoring damaged teeth. Decay and trauma can severely damage teeth. If a fracture or break occurs beneath the gum line, it may be necessary to lengthen the crown to prepare for optimal repair of the damaged tooth.
  • Cosmetic improvement. With too much gum tissue over enamel, teeth appear unnaturally short. This can degrade the sophistication of the smile and also present a risk for gum infection. Crown lengthening can optimize the balance between teeth and gums to refine the smile and reduce the risk of unnecessary gum inflammation. 
  • Functional restoration. Dental crowns are restorations that cover natural tooth structure to the gum line. In some cases, the crown needs to be lengthened in order to improve the space between the crown and supporting bone to prevent damage to the gums.

Benefits of Lengthening Crowns

Whether performed for cosmetic or functional reasons, crown lengthening offers the benefit of a once-and-done treatment. The results of treatment last indefinitely without the need for maintenance. The cosmetic benefit of this procedure includes a more symmetrical, sophisticated smile. Treatment is convenient, typically taking only about an hour. Comfort is assured with local anesthetic and, if desired, sedation to calm nerves and enhance analgesic effects. 

Preparing For Your Crown Lengthening Treatment

There are relatively few steps taken before we can schedule a crown lengthening procedure. After the initial consultation for treatment, professional cleaning may be performed. Patients may be advised to avoid medications and supplements that could increase bleeding. If crown lengthening is coinciding with other procedures such as dental crowns or veneers, impressions may be taken beforehand.

Dental Crown Lengthening Procedure

Dental patient undergoing crown lengthening procedure

Crown lengthening begins like many other treatments, with injections of local anesthetic. Patients who have dental anxiety or whose procedure is predicted to take longer to complete may discuss the benefit of sedation to calm nerves and make time go by more quickly. If dental crowns have been applied prior to crown lengthening, the procedure will begin with their removal.

After numbing the area, the dentist makes small incisions following the contour of teeth to separate gum tissue away from enamel. Incisions usually are made around adjacent teeth even if only one tooth is being treated. If bone tissue needs to be refined, this is accomplished with small instruments that carefully contour hard tissue. These instruments may sound similar to the dental drill used during cavity repair. 

Throughout the procedure, the proportion between gums and tooth structure is observed. When the right proportion has been achieved, sterile water is used to cleanse all tissue. Sutures are then placed to close incisions. Immediately after treatment, though the gums may be slightly swollen, the patient can observe noticeably longer teeth. 

Patient Testimonial

“I recently visited Dr. Browns office and the entire staff there is a pleasure to work with. They are very empathic to your needs and follow up with you. Dr. Brown was outstanding in dealing with my dental needs. I highly recommend him and his staff.”

What To Expect During Recovery

Due to the incisions and manipulation of tissue, the gums may swell after crown lengthening treatment. Tenderness or soreness may also occur. Patients may receive a prescription for pain medication prior to surgery to alleviate pain. Over-the-counter pain medication may be sufficient for some. A follow-up appointment is scheduled for 7 to 10 days after surgery to remove sutures. A second follow-up is scheduled 4 to 6 weeks after that to observe the progress of healing. Tissue continues to heal for approximately 3 months after crown lengthening, after which point any final restorations that are needed can be prepared. 

We provide detailed post-operative instructions and encourage patients to contact our office if concerns or questions arise after their procedure. 

What Are The Risks Of Oral Surgery?

Crown lengthening is a common procedure that is carefully performed to maximize safety and efficacy. Risks associated with treatment include infection and excessive bleeding, which can be easily treated if necessary. The most common side effect of treatment is temporary sensitivity to hot and cold. This is due to the manipulation of the tooth and exposure of tissue closer to the root. Sensitivity is expected to decrease gradually over time.

Schedule A Consultation

If you are ready to refine the appearance of your smile, we can help. Contact us today at (321) 372-7700 to schedule a consultation to discuss crown lengthening. Implant Dentistry of Florida serves Melbourne, FL, and the surrounding areas.

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