What is a Crown Lengthening Procedure?
Crown lengthening is typically performed to improve the health of the gum tissue or prepare your mouth for certain restorative procedures – for example, if not enough of the tooth sticks out above the gum line to support a filling or crown. You may also consider crown lengthening if your smile can be described as “gummy,” where the teeth are covered with excess gum tissue.
Crown lengthening is a common surgical procedure performed by Dr. Bokser who will extend the height or size of the portion of the tooth that is visible above the gum line. The doctor will typically use a local anesthesia and then gradually reshape or remove the excess gum and bone tissue to expose more of the natural tooth. Once Dr. Bokser feels enough tooth has been exposed, the doctor will wash the area with sterile salt water and apply stitches to the gums. The entire procedure can usually be completed in less than one hour.
In most cases, after the surgery, you’ll experience a little swelling, which can be treated with ice and Ibuprofen (or other pain medicine) but generally there is relatively minimal healing time with little discomfort. The area will be completely healed and back to normal within 2-3 months. You will, however, notice the results immediately in a wider, more symmetrical smile.
Dr. Bokser can perform crown lengthening on a single tooth, for a more even gum line, or to several teeth to reveal a broader smile or prepare you for further dental work.
What are the benefits of Crown Lengthening?
Most patients see Dr. Bokser to perform crown lengthening for the following reasons:
Oral Health: Crown lengthening is performed to prepare for a restorative dental procedure. For example if you have a broken tooth below the gum line or if you require a filling or crown, you will need more of the tooth to be exposed for successful treatment. Crown lengthening also has the benefit of reducing the risk of tooth decay because more of the tooth is exposed for brushing and flossing.
Cosmetic: Crown lengthening can be desired for cosmetic reasons alone. If you don’t like your smile because you feel too much of your gums show, you can select Dr. Bokser to perform the procedure to give you a wider, more symmetrical smile by exposing more of your teeth and creating a more even gum line.
Are you a good candidate for Crown Lengthening?
You should consider crown lengthening if you feel your teeth are a little shorter than you’d like or your smile appears ‘gummy.’ It may also be required before you can fix a dental issue like a broken tooth. The crown lengthening procedure is very common and the risks are minimal. Some patients find their teeth initially are sensitive to hot or cold because the roots are exposed. But this sensitivity typically goes away within a few months.
If you have any questions about crown lengthening or if you’d like to schedule time to review your options, contact Dr. Bokser today to schedule an appointment.