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Dental Crown Lengthening
If a tooth breaks at the gumline, crown lengthening will expose more of the tooth. This, in turn will make it possible to place a crown over the tooth, as opposed to removing it and installing an implant. When decay sets in under a filling, your dentist may also need to use crown lengthening procedures to stabilise the the tooth.
As you may be aware, some people have extra gum tissue. This usually occurs around the upper teeth. Typically, exposing more of each tooth will help make gums look smaller, and thus eliminate “gummy smiles”.
How is procedure performed?
Most crown lengthening procedures require local anaesthesia. As may be expected, more time will be required if multiple teeth are being treated. It will also take longer if bone has to be removed in addition to gum tissue. Because crown lengthening involves changing the shape of the gums, adjacent teeth will also be affected by the procedure. In most cases, your dentist will try to reshape the gums as gradually as possible. Typically, if you already have temporary crowns, they will be removed prior to reshaping the gums, and then replaced upon completion.
At the start of the procedure, your periodontist will cut into the gum, and pull it away from the teeth. Once the bone and tooth roots are exposed, your dentist will decide whether or not it is necessary to remove some of the bone. If your dentist can get by with removing just a little bit of gum tissue, he/she will most likely place a temporary crown over the tooth. After washing the site with sterile saline, your gums will be stitched back together. In some cases, your dentist may also place a bandage over the surgical site.
For most people, it takes about three months for your mouth to heal. Once the site is ready for additional work, your dentist will make a second temporary crown to fit the longer tooth. Since your gums may continue to shrink during the healing process, your dentist will wait a bit before creating the permanent crown.