What Exactly Is "Crown Lengthening?"
While many have not heard of it, actually, crown lengthening is a relatively common periodontal procedure. It is a dental surgery wherein periodontal (gum) tissue is removed from around teeth so as to expose a greater portion of the total tooth to view.
In some instances, bone tissue may also need to be removed if it has built up excessively around a tooth. Only a skilled periodontist with deep experience in safely removing these tissues should be trusted with the operation - obviously, you don't want to remove any more tissue than is necessary and beneficial.
When Is Crown Lengthening Necessary?
Why would anyone need to remove gum tissue (and/or bone tissue) from their mouth? First, it may be that a person has "too much" gum tissue simply due to genetic reasons. That can hide most of your tooth under the gums and may make it more difficult to brush and floss properly.
Another situation where crown lengthening comes into play is where a dental crown, filling, bridge, or implant needs to be placed, but a large amount of gum tissue surrounding the local placement area makes this difficult.
Finally, if a tooth breaks below the gum line, has a cavity below the gum line, or otherwise needs to be extracted or get a root canal, you may need to remove some gum tissue before taking care of these other issues.
How Does The Procedure Work?
The first step is to get an oral exam and X-rays done to determine if you really need to remove any gum tissue. If so, the initial exam will help the periodontist prepare. Your teeth and gums should also be cleaned before the operation. A temporary crown will be worn until after the surgery if you are doing crown lengthening to make room for a dental crown.
On the day of the procedure, a local anesthetic (and possibly also dental sedation) will be administered to block the pain. Then a skilled periodontist uses special dental tools to carefully cut away excess gum tissue and detach it from tooth surfaces. Afterward, the surgical area is sterilized with saltwater. Stitches may sometimes be needed on the gums, and a temporary bandage may be used over the affected area.
Temporary crowns are removed pre-op and put back post-op. It is usually three more months before permanent crowns can be placed.
You will need to use an antiseptic mouth wash, go on a soft diet, avoid spicy foods, and use a prescription pain killer during early recovery. If stitches were put in, they are normally removed within a week or two, while a follow-up visit takes place four to six weeks after the procedure.
You should not be scared of crown lengthening. It is a common, normal procedure that has a high success rate. It can improve your smile and facilitate other dental procedures like crowns and extractions. To learn more, contact Ormond Beach Periodontics today!