The name crown lengthening is misleading because your crowns aren’t actually being lengthened.
The goal of crown lengthening surgery is to permanently reveal more of the crown to fix damage beneath your gum or to make your teeth look longer for aesthetic purposes.
It can be performed by a general dentist or a specialist, such as an oral surgeon or periodontist.
Here is everything you need to know about the crown lengthening procedure.
What Does Crown Lengthening Involve?
Initial Consultation - During your consultation, your dentist will evaluate your need for preliminary work and make sure there are no underlying issues that will cause complications. Additionally, they will discuss the procedure as well as the risks involved with it.
Local Anesthetic/Sedation - Generally, local anesthetics are enough to get patients through the crown lengthening procedure, but sometimes sedatives are necessary. If you think you may require a sedative, arrange for someone to drive you home from your procedure because it could take several hours before it’s safe to be behind the wheel.
Procedure Begins - After the anesthetics take effect, your dentist will cut open your gums, revealing the underlying bone and more of the crown.
Fix Damage - Tooth damage fixed during this step can be in the form of cracks, cavities, or chips.
Shape the Bone - Bone shaping is almost always required for crown lengthening. It is mainly done to promote proper healing and a natural look.
Sutures - After all issues have been addressed and the bone is shaped, you will be stitched up to heal.
Stitch Removal - After seven to ten days, you will come back in to get your stitches removed.
Crown Lengthening Recovery Time
Despite our mouths being able to heal very quickly, it could still take around three months for your mouth to fully recover after crown lengthening.
This timeline depends on how much work is done and how well you take care of your mouth after the surgery.
Is Crown Lengthening Necessary?
Yes – there are scenarios where crown lengthening is necessary. It is often required when you need certain dental restoration procedures. Also, if you have excess gum tissue, most dentists will recommend getting the procedure for hygienic purposes.
While it is required or recommended in many cases, it’s not uncommon to get the procedure solely for cosmetic reasons.
When Would You Need Crown Lengthening Surgery?
The most common reasons you might need crown lengthening surgery are dental restoration procedures, better hygiene, or cosmetic purposes.
Restoring Damaged Teeth
Crown lengthening is often a crucial part of several dental restoration procedures. For example, a dental crown procedure.
If your natural crown is damaged, your dentist will remove the damaged area down to the root if it’s healthy. If they go this route, the gums will often cover the top of the root. This is where crown lengthening comes in.
To access the root, the dentist will remove gum tissue and bone so the top of the root sticks through your gum enough to attach an abutment for the crown to lock onto.
When you have excess gum tissue, it's difficult to clean food and bacteria out from beneath your gum line. This makes you a lot more susceptible to gum disease.
Crown lengthening surgery can greatly benefit those with teeth that appear small or have a “gummy” smile. It can make your teeth look longer and your gums less visible when smiling and talking.
What Can You Eat After Crown Lengthening Surgery?
Unfortunately, your diet may have to slightly change for the first couple of weeks after crown lengthening surgery.
Some of the best things to eat following your crown lengthening procedure include:
Foods to Avoid After Crown Lengthening Surgery
To avoid extending healing time and irritating your incisions, here are the things you should avoid eating after crown lengthening surgery.
Hot Foods - You should avoid eating hot foods for at least 24 hours after crown lengthening surgery. The heat will cause increased blood flow to the area and can result in bleeding and irritation.
Spicy Foods - You should avoid spicy food for the first two weeks of your recovery because it will most likely cause irritation and burning to your healing wounds.
Abrasive Foods - Abrasive foods are things like cereal, hard bread, and fried food. Avoid anything that could scrape your gums and reopen the incision points.
Sugary Foods - You should avoid sugary foods and drinks for the first couple of weeks after crown lengthening surgery because you won’t be able to brush your teeth as well during this time.
Acidic Foods - You should avoid acidic foods and drinks for the same reason as sugary ones – you won’t be able to rid your teeth of cavity-causing substances. Additionally, acidic foods and drinks can cause stinging, irritate your wounds, and delay healing.
Care Instructions After Crown Lengthening Surgery
Besides avoiding the foods listed above, there are a couple of other things to keep in mind to properly care for your mouth after crown lengthening surgery.
Don't Brush Your Gums
You may perform your normal oral hygiene routine on areas where you didn't receive crown lengthening, but for the first two weeks, do not run your toothbrush across the gums that were cut open. Instead, lightly clean them using a cotton swab soaked with chlorhexidine.
Be Mindful of Where You Floss
Flossing near the wounds will almost certainly cause them to bleed and extend healing time. Also, the longer it takes for the incision points to close, the greater your risk of getting an infection.
The force you create by swishing is a lot greater than you think and can easily reopen your wounds.
After about ten to fourteen days, you can carefully and lightly rinse your mouth with alcohol-free mouthwash.
How Much Does Crown Lengthening Cost?
Depending on your geographical location and the dental professional you go to, crown lengthening will usually cost between $300 and $550 per tooth. For several teeth, you can expect to pay upwards of $1,000+.
Crown Lengthening in Fremont, CA
If your teeth look short or you have a “gummy” smile, you can benefit from crown lengthening in more than one way. It can give you a healthier smile that you’ll want to show off at every opportunity.
We provide crown lengthening in Fremont, CA. If you're interested in learning more about this dental procedure, book an appointment online or call us today!