What is a Dental Crown Lengthening and How Does it Work?

dental crown lengtheningLearn about the dental crown lengthening from the top dentist in Seatle and Everett

For those of you who have never heard about crown lengthening, to simply put it is a dental procedure that is performed to take care of an excessive gingival display which is also referred to as a gummy smile. It is a procedure that is performed with the use of a crown that is fitted over the natural tooth for structural or aesthetic reasons.

Why is the Procedure Performed

  • Crown lengthening can be performed for a variety of reasons. For instance, dentists can perform this procedure to address the cosmetic concerns, to expose the cavities that are present beneath the gum line and are being covered by the gums. It is also performed to expose the fractured areas of the tooth which need to be repaired or to expose more of the tooth in order to install a device like a bridge on it.

How to Prepare for the Procedure

  • In order to get your teeth ready for the crown lengthening procedure, you need to visit the dentist beforehand in order to make sure that your teeth are in good enough shape to be suitable for the procedure. Healthy gums and overall good dental health is necessary for a successful procedure.

How the Procedure is Performed

  • During a crown lengthening procedure, a periodontist will remove excess gum tissue from your mouth. This type of procedure is usually an outpatient one which means that you can go home after the procedure is finished. The time taken depends on a lot of factors like the number of teeth that need to be fixed and whether the bone or the soft tissue needs to be removed.

The procedure generally varies depending on the needs of the patients. There are some cases in which bones need to be removed or reshaped in order to better expose the teeth.

  • Depending on the condition of the patient’s mouth and the cause of the excess gum tissue, the periodontist can choose one of the following crown lengthening techniques;
  • Gingivectomy: A technique in which the gum tissue is removed using a laser, a scalpel, or electrocautery.
  • Apically Repositioned Flap Surgery: A technique that requires the periodontist to make an incision in the patient’s gums to create a flap of tissue which is then lifted to remove the additional tissue and bone depending on the amount of tooth that needs to be exposed.
  • Surgical Extrusion: This technique involves the movement of the tooth to the desired position on the patient’s gumline. This method is ideal if a tooth is fractured beneath the gum.

Possible Risks Involved 

  • There are a series of risks that need to be considered before you get a crown lengthening procedure done on your teeth. First and foremost, there is a risk of an infection that is associated with almost every dental procedure. In addition to the infection, there is also a risk that you might experience bleeding from the area of the gumline where the procedure was performed.

Furthermore, your teeth might also become extremely sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. The operated tooth might also look longer than the other tooth and may feel loose if a bone was removed during the procedure. Finally and most importantly, if for some reason you lose this tooth in the future, it is almost impossible for the dentist to add a new dental implant because of the crown lengthening procedure.

In the aforementioned text, we have discussed some key points regarding the crown lengthening procedure. We talked about what crown lengthening is as well as what makes the procedure a viable choice for the patient. We also explained how you can prepare your mouth for the procedure and how the procedure is performed and what kind of techniques can be used during the procedure based on the patient’s needs and requirements.

Finally and most importantly, we talked about all the risks involved that need to be considered before you decide to undergo the procedure.

With that being said, if you are located in Everett or Seattle and have any questions about the crown lengthening procedure like how does it work, then you can reach out to us today at the Icon Dental Center.

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