There are many reasons why a crown lengthening process may be recommended to you. A crown lengthening surgery is typically initiated as a transitory procedure in order for us to better access your tooth for a crown or a bridge fabrication. This process involves removing adequate gum tissue, bone, or even both to expose more of the tooth.
Most often than not, crown lengthening is done for therapeutic reasons, however, may also have cosmetic value. For our curious patients in and around the North-East Philadelphia region, our dental team at Prime Dentistry clarifies why and when you may need it and what you can expect from the pre-op to the recovery period.
WHAT IS CROWN LENGTHENING?
Crown lengthening is a gum surgery treatment that involves removing excess gum tissue and possibly some bone, typically around the upper teeth to make them look longer. There may be a few reasons why our dental professionals may recommend a crown lengthening process for you:
- If your tooth has broken off at the gumline
- If your gum line extends far along the length of your tooth, so much so that it hinders your chances of receiving restorative treatment
- If your tooth structure isn’t resilient or strong enough to receive a restoration
- If your crown or filling has fallen off, or if there is decay underneath
- If the gum line is uneven
GETTING READY FOR THE CROWN LENGTHENING PROCESS
The process of crown lengthening is a relatively standard procedure that takes no more than an hour to complete. Prior to the start of the procedure, our dental staff at Prime Dentistry takes a thorough medical and dental patient history to verify any underlying risks and conditions.
Then, X-rays may be taken in order to visualize the bony structures underneath. This is followed by a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and bone structure before the treatment.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT DURING THE SURGERY?
There are three major types of crown lengthening surgery: a gingivectomy, a surgical extrusion, and apically repositioned flap surgery. Our in-house Periodontist(gum specialist) will decide the best type of surgery for you, based on some specific considerations like the appearance of the tooth root, the crown to root ratio, etc.
In some instances, the gum tissue may be lasered off. In others, the bone may be required to be removed to achieve the desired outcome. Although crown lengthening is a minimally invasive procedure, our dental professionals will prescribe you an antibiotic in order to prevent the risk of oncoming infection, post-surgery.
WHAT ARE SOME POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS?
Your gums may need a few months to heal completely after your crown lengthening procedure. In the meantime, all regular daily activities can be continued even after the surgery, in conjunction with the aftercare tips provided by our dental professionals.
- Apply an ice pack to the area for at least 20 minutes after the surgery to reduce swelling.
- Avoid hot foods and beverages for a couple of days after the surgery.
- Avoid any strenuous activity for the first 48 to 72 hours to prevent excessive bleeding.
- Take prescribed over-the-counter medications for pain relief.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking for at least 7 to 10 days following the procedure.
- Take soft foods and plenty of water to speed up the healing process.
- Avoid running your tongue over the treated gums.
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with us at Prime Dentistry in Philadelphia to monitor the healing process.