Crown lengthening is a simple surgical procedure where the position of the gum around a tooth is adjusted to expose more of the tooth structure. If a tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient crown height; there might not be enough tooth structure available to accommodate restoration procedures, such as a crown or bridge. In these instances, crown lengthening surgery may be necessary in order to provide more tooth structure for your dentist to work with.
Before the procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the surgical area. Typically, little to no discomfort is felt as your periodontist reshapes the gum and bone tissue to expose more structure of the damaged tooth. Following the surgery, the treated area may be a little tender, sore, or swollen; painkillers and antibiotics may be prescribed to help relieve discomfort and prevent infection from occurring.
In most cases, recovery time after crown lengthening surgery is minimal, and patients can resume their normal routines the day after surgery.
Esthetic Crown Lengthening
Esthetic crown lengthening is the procedure that can give you a smile that you always dreamed about. For patients with teeth that look uneven or have the “gummy smile”; esthetic crown lengthening might be your solution. Your teeth may actually be in the proper position and length, but the teeth are covered by too much gum tissue making them appear uneven or short. The amount of gum tissue that needs to be removed will depend on multiple factors like your smile line, lip position, and the number of teeth involved in order to create a smooth gradual curve to your smile. The gum tissue is either removed (gingivectomy) or repositioned (with the removal of a small amount of bone) to expose more of the tooth which is visible when you smile. The gum line is then evenly sculpted to develop your new, broad smile. To view before and after photos
Post-surgical care Instructions for Crown Lengthening
Rest with your head elevated when you arrive at home after the procedure. We ask that you please limit your physical activity and keep moving to a minimum for the first 24-hours.
For the first 4-5 hours after the surgery, we recommend placing an ice bag to your face in 20-minute intervals. This will help reduce facial swelling. If needed, you can use an ice bag for 24-hours.
Please take anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) to prevent inflammation, swelling, and pain. For as long as you need the NSAIDs , we suggest taking 400mg-800mg of Ibuprofen every six hours to reduce swelling and pain and quicken healing. DO NOT take more than 2400mg in a 24-hour period. If you experience excessive pain or discomfort, take the narcotic that has been prescribed to you. If you do not have one, please call our office and the doctor will call in a prescription to your pharmacy. Please take as directed along with the NSAID. If you’ve been prescribed an antibiotic, please take as directed. We ask that you finish the entire dosage. If any of the medications are causing you extreme nausea, itching, or a rash; discontinue its use and call our office immediately.
IF YOU EXPERIENCE BLEEDING
For the next few days following your surgery, some minor oozing may occur and is no cause for alarm. Gently rinse your mouth out with iced water or iced tea (tea contains tannic acid which can help stop the bleeding). We ask that you refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol as these activities will interfere with blood clotting and healing of the surgical site. If your bleeding continues, apply pressure to the surgical site by pinching the area with a moistened piece of gauze for 20 minutes. If your bleeding is moderate to heavy and has continued for a few hours without stopping, please call our office immediately.
When you arrive home after surgery, you may have something very soft to eat or cold to drink. In the evening on the day of your surgery, we recommend eating a soft, bland meal as this is usually the best way to help you feel better. For the first week, please do not eat anything hard or crunchy.
CARING FOR YOUR MOUTH
When possible, we will place a bandage over the surgical area to help with your comfort. Please DO NOT brush the bandaged areas. If the bandage should become loose or fall out and you are comfortable, then continue to avoid brushing the surgical areas. If the surgical area is uncomfortable without the bandage, then please call our office so that we can place a new bandage over the area. Please continue your regular oral hygiene habits on all other areas in your mouth. Please use an antiseptic mouthwash at least once in the morning and once at night before bed until your next appointment with our office. You can also swab the bandaged area with a cotton swab dipped in an antiseptic mouthwash every morning, every night before bed, and after eating and drinking.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at 847-658-3355..