Dental Crown Lengthening2019-10-09T20:02:59-04:00



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You may have asked your periodontist about procedures to improve your smile because your teeth look short. Your teeth may have the correct length, but they are covered with too much gum tissue. To correct this, your periodontist performs a lengthening procedure of the dental crown.

The lengthening of the dental crown involves the removal of gum tissue, bone or both to further expose the structure of a tooth. Why would you need it? You may have broken a tooth in the gum line. Or maybe you only have a decayed tooth. Sometimes, after your dentist removes tooth decay, there is not enough tooth structure left above the gum line to hold a dental crown (or even a filling of a large tooth). Without a sufficient structure to grip, improperly fitting dental crowns can cause chronic inflammation and irritation. Worse yet, tooth decay can enter under the dental crown, creating the need for more dental treatment. You could even lose the tooth completely.

Although it is less common, lengthening the crown can also be used cosmetically to treat what is called a “gummy smile”. When an unusually large amount of gum tissue is shown around the upper teeth, lengthening the crown may help. Your dentist can expose more teeth, then sculpt your gum line to create the look you want.

The lengthening of the dental crown is considered a fairly mild surgery that causes a relatively small pain. Just in case, the periodontist will provide a prescription to control the pain. You will also be given special instructions for mouthwash and dental care to take care of your teeth during recovery. You should continue with your usual routine of oral hygiene, taking care to avoid brushing the gums in the affected area.

About one week after the crown lengthening surgery, your periodontist will remove the stitches. Your gums will need to heal for a while longer before your tooth can be fitted with the final dental crown.

As with all surgeries, elongation of the crown has risks. You may experience bleeding or develop an infection after surgery. Because the root of your tooth is exposed, it may be more sensitive to heat and cold. This will disappear once the dental crown has been put in place. Removing the bone from around a tooth can loosen it. If the tooth is ever lost, it can be difficult to place the dental implants in that area.


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Common questions and answers about Crown Lengthening2019-06-30T22:58:33-04:00

crown lengthening serves two purposes: to improve the appearance of the teeth or to prepare teeth for further dental or periodontal work.

On the cosmetic side, crown lengthening can help correct a “gummy smile.” This occurs when the teeth are the correct length, but they’re covered by too much gum tissue, making them appear too short.

The lengthening of the crown removes extra tissue from the gum to expose more of the tooth and create a more proportionate gum line.

The lengthening of the crown can also be the first step in another restorative or cosmetic procedure. At least two millimeters of healthy tooth surface is required above the gumline to be joined with a crown or filler, thus preventing food or debris from being trapped.

However, a tooth may not protrude enough to hold a crown or fill if it has broken or broken below the gum line. If this is the case, the dentist will remove part of the tissue from the gums (and if necessary, the bone) to expose enough of the tooth to hold the crown or filling.

As with any surgery, there is a risk of bleeding and infection after the procedure.

Some people also discover that their teeth are more sensitive to heat and cold after surgery, since the roots are now exposed. However, this sensitivity should disappear as the gums heal.

The recovery process can be very uncomfortable because you are removing bones and gums that will heal and you are also revealing parts of the tooth that have not been isolated.

Ideally, when we wash our teeth, the fluoride in the toothpaste insulates the tooth so that it is not sensitive to fluids and daily meals. The tooth discovered by this method has not been isolated and can be extremely sensitive to cold until an insulating layer is formed.

Another result is that due to tissue removal, the affected tooth may appear longer than the surrounding teeth. Although this lengthening was precisely the intention of this surgery, this new aspect may surprise some patients.

Additionally, if any bone is removed, the tooth may feel loose. If you eventually lose it, it may be more difficult to put in a replacement dental implant.

Most side effects are minor and go away shortly after surgery. However, you should call your periodontist if you experience any of the following complications:

  • The pain reliever doesn’t help
  • Bleeding continues more than 24 hours after the surgery
  • You notice signs of infection such as swelling and discharge at the surgical site
  • Your bandage becomes detached from the surgical site
  • You notice swollen lymph nodes, which usually manifest as tender lumps around your lower jaw and neck

You should visit your dentist within seven to 10 days following the treatment to remove the stitches and then you should visit again four to six weeks later for a follow-up appointment.

The cost of a crown lengthening procedure varies widely based on a number of factors, such as whether or not bone needs to be removed and how many teeth need to be treated.

As with any procedure, the cost differs from one geographic area to another, and from one periodontist to another. It may cost several hundred dollars for one tooth or more than $3,000 for the entire mouth.

In general, insurance does not cover crown lengthening if you are having the procedure solely for cosmetic reasons.

However, if the crown lengthening is one step in a process that has an established medical benefit — such as preparing the tooth for a filling or crown — insurance may partially or completely cover the cost.

Dental crown lengthening is a type of oral surgery. It is performed by a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating diseases of the gums and bone tissue that support the teeth. Crown lengthening surgery can be performed on one or several teeth or your entire gum line, depending on your specific needs.

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Our Lauderhil Dental Office is located on the corner of Commercial Blvd & Inverrary Blvd, between Bennett Auto Supply and Deja Vu Salon, in the Boulevard Shoppes II, Lauderhill Florida. Our dedicated dentists and team welcome patients from Tamarac, Sunrise, Plantation, Lauderdale and other surrounding communities.