But many people ask two basic questions about crown lengthening:
- How painful is the procedure?
- How long and difficult is the recovery process?
How long it will take to complete the surgery depends on how much gum tissue, around how many teeth, needs to be removed. It is also possible that some bone tissue will need to be removed from your alveolar ridge (on your jawbone).
Almost everyone who undergoes crown lengthening will use a local anesthetic, and many also opt for dental sedation to further control the pain. This will render the procedure itself virtually painless. Your periodontist will also prescribe a painkilling drug to minimize pain after the effects of the anesthetic have worn off.
Gums are temporarily detached from tooth roots, trimmed down, washed with disinfectant salt water, reattached and sutured, and (sometimes) covered with a dental bandage to protect them during the healing process.
What To Expect During Recovery
The total recovery time after crown lengthening will generally be around 3 months, but no more than 2 or 3 days of rest are needed. If your job involves heavy physical strain and activity, you might need to take a couple of days off work.
Your teeth and gums will be sensitive for some time following surgery. So avoid very hot/cold drinks and foods for awhile. You should also not brush or floss on or near the areas of your mouth affected by the procedure at first.
There may also be moderate, occasional bleeding of the gums - this is normal and should not alarm you. But if bleeding is profuse or continual, contact your periodontist for immediate assistance.
The bandage (if any) is to be kept on for one or two weeks only. An ice pack should be used to reduce swelling during the first hours after surgery, and you should not eat hot or spicy foods for at least 24 hours. A soft diet and avoidance of drinking alcoholic beverages or smoking tobacco products is encouraged for the early part of the recovery period.
Note that in some instances, mild to moderate swelling may continue up to three days after the procedure. In that case, use an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time with 20-minute breaks in between. From day three on, moist heat can also be used to control swelling. But if swelling is severe and won't resolve, contact your periodontist.
Finally, only take the pain relievers prescribed to you and in the dosages and time intervals recommended. Normally, this means Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Vicodin, or similar drugs. Overdosing on painkillers can have serious negative side effects.
If you are interested in discussing crown lengthening with a local expert in Ormond Beach or Central Florida, feel free to contact Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik today! He can give you the advice of an experienced periodontist and offer you affordable, competitive rates.