The definitive timeline – When and why crown lengthening should be considered

Crown lengthening is suggested for various dental issues, including functional and aesthetic concerns. If you are considering this treatment, it’s crucial to understand its significance and procedure. This article provides information about conditions that may require crown lengthening to help you make an informed decision.

Crown Lengthening: An Overview

  • Crowns are caps shaped like teeth that cover natural teeth for either aesthetic or structural reasons. They’re often suggested when a tooth is cracked or broken. Additionally, crowns are used to complete various dental procedures like bridges, root canals, and dental implants. For a crown to be successful, it needs to attach to the existing tooth securely.

During this procedure, the gum tissue and occasionally bone are reshaped to reveal more of the tooth’s surface, allowing for proper crown placement. It’s a commonly performed procedure that typically takes less than an hour to complete.

Conditions Requiring Crown Lengthening

  • Some common situations that might necessitate crown lengthening include:

Gummy Smile

  • If you consider your smile as excessively gummy or your teeth appear disproportionately short, crown lengthening can be done to expose more of the tooth’s structure to achieve a balanced aesthetic. This enhancement can significantly improve your self-confidence and make you feel more at ease about your smile.

Tooth Decay

  • When decay penetrates beneath the gumline, crown lengthening becomes an essential restorative procedure. By exposing more of the tooth, your dentist can effectively eliminate the decay and address the damage through a filling or crown.

Damaged Tooth

If a tooth breaks or cracks below the gumline, crown lengthening can be performed to expose adequate tooth structure for a successful restoration. This approach can save a tooth that might otherwise necessitate extraction.

The Procedure of Crown Lengthening

  • Dental surgeons administer local anesthesia or sedatives before beginning the procedure. The gums are then cut and pulled away from the teeth to expose the roots and bone, and the affected tissues are removed. The surgical area is washed with salt water before suturing.

After suturing the gums back together, a bandage is placed over the area for additional protection. When the local anesthesia wears off, the patient might feel some pain. The dental surgeon prescribes mild pain relievers and a mouth rinse to help the gums heal. The procedure often takes less than an hour to complete, and the patient can go home after the treatment.

Recovery Period

  • The recovery period for this procedure typically lasts around three months. It’s important to discuss your specific recovery plan with your surgeon. Generally, you should:

Manage Pain and Prevent Infection

  • You may be advised to take over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen or Tylenol at regular intervals. Your doctor might also prescribe antibiotics or stronger pain medications such as Vicodin, Tylenol with codeine, or Darvocet.

Use Ice Packs

  • Applying an ice pack to your face right after the surgery can help reduce swelling. Use it for 20 minutes, then take a 20-minute break. After a couple of days, you can switch to using moist heat.

Eat Carefully

  • crown lengtheningAvoid hot foods, and don’t rinse your mouth for the first day to reduce the risk of prolonged bleeding. If bleeding doesn’t stop, apply gentle pressure with a damp tea bag or gauze for 20-30 minutes.

Additionally, leave any surgical dressings in place for 7-14 days unless your doctor advises otherwise. You might need to have the dressing replaced during this time.

Brush Gently

  • Gently clean only the chewing surfaces near the treated area. Brush and floss as usual in other parts of your mouth. Try to chew food on the side opposite the treatment site.

Our experienced dentists at Icon Dental Center offer the best crown lengthening services. Don’t hesitate to book your appointments. Call us at 206-225-2882 for Seattle and 425-337-2400 for Everett appointment.

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