Crown Lengthening For Cosmetic Reasons

Posted on: 7 December 2015

If you feel that your teeth appear too "short" or think that your gums are more visible when you smile compared to other people, there is a solution. Crown lengthening is a common procedure for both medical and cosmetic reasons. If you are wondering about crown lengthening, here is more information about the procedure.

What is crown lengthening?

Crown lengthening is a procedure that uses gingivectomy to remove excess gum material and reshapes the gum to uncover more of the tooth. Gingivectomy is also used for other procedures such as removing diseased gum tissue or to correct for large gingival pockets. Crown lengthening differs from this type of gingivectomy in that it is often combined with other procedures such as removing or reshaping bone material around the tooth.

Why would someone need crown lengthening?

Crown lengthening is done either to correct a cosmetic problem, to prepare the teeth for other cosmetic procedures or for medical reasons such as repairing a broken tooth. For cosmetic purposes, it is often used to correct an uneven gum line or for excess gum tissue that causes the smile to be "gummy." Another cosmetic use for crown lengthening is to make room for a crown or veneer. Some dental professionals suggest that crown lengthening may improve eating and speaking in some people.

How is crown lengthening done?

Crown lengthening is usually done in a single office visit and takes from one to four hours. Many of the tools used are similar to those what are used for fillings. The procedure is done under a local anesthetic and you will be able to leave the office the same day. If your procedure is more complicated, such as if you need bone removed, it may take longer. Stitches and a bandage may be placed over the site.

What happens after the surgery?

Your dentist will give you care instructions before you leave the office. Aftercare is similar to that of having a tooth filled. Wait until the anesthetic wears off before attempting to eat or drink anything. If a dental bandage was placed in your mouth, avoid eating or drinking anything on that side of the mouth. Try to eat soft foods until you have your follow-up about a week or two later. Be sure to maintain proper oral hygiene during this time.

After everything has healed, your gum line should look noticeably better. Crown lengthening is usually permanent, especially if you are meticulous about your oral hygiene. If you feel that crown lengthening will help you with the appearance or function of your teeth, talk to a dentist, like Michael G Landy DDS, for more information.