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Dental Crown Lengthening

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What Is crown lengthening?

This is a common surgical procedure in which length of tooth structure is increased by removing gum or bone or both.

What It's Used For
Crown lengthening is usually done to support a crown or filling over a damaged tooth. Sometimes tooth is damaged by caries or is fractured at gum line. Any filling or a crown requires a critical length of tooth above gum line to be able to support a crown or filling. In such situation dentist exposes more length of tooth by removing some gum tissue around tooth by simple or laser surgery. This surgery is usually done concomitantly with crown placement.

Procedure of crown lengthening
Crown lengthening is done using local anesthesia. How long it takes will depend on the number of teeth that need treatment. Even if only one tooth is involved, crown lengthening typically includes neighbouring teeth, too. That allows the tissues to be reshaped gradually. If both bone and soft tissue are removed, the procedure will take longer than if only soft tissue is removed.

The dentist will make cuts that will pull the gums away from the teeth. This will expose the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone. In some cases, simply removing a little gum tissue will expose enough tooth for your dentist to place a crown or filling. However, in most cases, the dentist will need to remove some bone from around the roots of the teeth. Once the dentist has exposed enough tooth, the surgical area will be washed with sterile salt water and the gums will be stitched together. Some dentists put a bandage over the stitches. You will be given prescriptions for a pain reliever and a mouth rinse. Your dentist will ask you to follow a somewhat soft diet. You can brush the teeth near the stitches, but avoid the gums. Remove food particles with a toothpick or a water irrigator.

Follow-Up
For the first few hours, use ice on your face over the area of surgery. This will reduce swelling.

You will go back to the dentist in 7 to 10 days to have the stitches taken out. Your gums should heal for about three months before the tooth is prepared for the final crown. Gums can shrink as they heal. If you don't wait long enough, the edges of the crown could show. Your regular dentist will put in the crown or filling.

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