If you have an uneven gum line, or if you have a very “heavy” gum line that makes you look like you have more gums than teeth, crown lengthening is an option to consider. Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that is performed with local anesthesia. After the area is numbed, the specialist will make small cuts to sculpt away excess gum tissue in an effort to create symmetry in an uneven gum line and/or make teeth look longer. Usually removing gum tissue is all that is needed. But sometime there is too much soft tissue and bone covering the crown, so a tiny bit of bone may also need to be surgically removed. After the surgery is completed, the gums are cleansed with sterile salt water and stitched up.
Crown lengthening takes about 30 minutes to an hour, and it's effects are permanent. You can expect to experience some pain and swelling, and will have to be careful about what you eat and how you brush your teeth for about seven to ten days after surgery until your stitches fall out. Complete recovery will take up to three months, depending on the extensiveness of the procedure.
If you are pursuing this surgery for purely cosmetic reasons, be cautious if you already have wide teeth. The extra exposure of crown lengthening can inadvertently create the appearance of very large teeth.
Sometimes crown lengthening is used for medical reasons as well. If there is decay or fracture under the gum line, crown lengthening can reveal more of the tooth's crown to support a filling or artificial crown. It can also be helpful if your teeth are excessively vulnerable to decay, since by exposing a greater part of the tooth, more of the crown can receive direct care such as brushing, fluoride treatments and flossing.
If you think you may be a candidate for crown lengthening, give the dental experts at TeethNow a call. We can answer your questions and help you set an appointment with one of our specialists.