Reviewed by Dr. Kerri Font, DDS

Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure performed by a periodontist, particularly geared towards individuals with a “gummy smile” or a “short tooth.”

This surgical procedure involves reducing the gum tissue and, when necessary, the underlying bone around one or more teeth. The aim is to expose more of the tooths crown so that the crown to root ratio is more balanced

In this blog, we’ll explore some important details about this procedure, including who needs it, what the procedure is like, and the benefits of crown lengthening.

Table of Contents

Who Needs Crown Lengthening?

This procedure may be necessary for several reasons, including:

  • Cosmetic reasons (gummy smile)
  • To treat decay located under the gum tissue
  • To expose a tooth that is fractured or broken above the gum line to prepare it for a dental crown

Top 3 Benefits of Crown Lengthening

  • Saving a tooth: Crown lengthening can save a tooth that has been severely worn down or broken below the gum line by exposing more of the tooth, making it easier for proper restoration with a dental crown.
  • Better appearance: For those with a “gummy smile”, crown lengthening can improve the proportions of visible teeth to gums, creating a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
  • Improved oral health: Excess gum tissue can be difficult to clean, which can increase the risk of developing tooth decay.

What Does the Procedure Look Like?

The crown lengthening procedure can generally be broken down into three key steps:

  1. Initial consultation and planning: Your periodontist will take X-rays and review your dental and medical history to ensure this is the right procedure for you.
  2. The surgical procedure: Performed under local anesthesia, the periodontist will carefully make incisions to pull back the soft tissue, exposing the root of the tooth and bone. In some cases, small amounts of bone may be removed to achieve the desired crown-to-root ratio.
  3. Recovery and healing: The gums are then washed with sterile salt water and stitched up. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to monitor the healing process.

The Healing Process

The healing phase after a crown lengthening procedure can take up to 3 months. During this time, it’s important to maintain proper oral hygiene practices and attend follow-up appointments with your periodontist.

Here are a few tips that can help you recover faster:

  • Use an ice pack to reduce swelling
  • Avoid hot foods in the first 24 hours
  • Brush gently only the biting surface
  • Eat a soft food diet avoiding surgical areas
  • Avoid alcohol until after your post-op appointment
  • Refrain from smoking in the first 7 to 10 days or longer

Key Points

  • Crown lengthening surgery is a proven method to address both functional dental issues and cosmetic concerns.
  • Recovery time varies by individual, but many return to normal activities within a day. Full recovery might take up to 3 months.
  • Aesthetic crown lengthening specifically focuses on improving the appearance of your smile, often involving less bone tissue and gum removal compared to cases needing restorative treatment.

Your Best Smile With Highlands Ranch Periodontics

Highlands Ranch Periodontics & Implant Center is your top choice for crown lengthening and dental implants in Highlands Ranch, CO.

Our experienced periodontists Dr. Mike Norouzinia DDS and DR. Kerri Font, DDS will make sure you get the best dental treatment. A short tooth or gummy smile can not only affect your smile’s aesthetics but also impact your dental health.

If you are searching for “crown lengthening near me” or “dental implants in Highland Ranch CO“, we can help. Call (303) 683-1144 to book an appointment or complete our online inquiry form.

FAQs About Crown Lengthening

Is crown lengthening painful?

The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia and sedation if necessary. After the surgery, you may experience some swelling and discomfort for a few days, but it can be managed with pain medication.

How long does a crown lengthening procedure take?

The duration of the procedure depends on the number of teeth involved and the complexity of your case. On average, it takes about 1-2 hours.

How long does a crown lengthening last?

With proper care and maintenance, crown lengthening can last for many years. However, if you have gum disease or poor oral hygiene practices, the results may not be long-lasting.

Categories: Periodontics