Crown lengthening is a standard surgical procedure in which Dr. Kennedy removes excess gum tissue, bone or both to expose more of a tooth’s surface.

When would I need crown lengthening?

If you have a tooth that needs restoration, such as a filling or crown, but not enough of the tooth is exposed for the procedure, Dr. Kennedy may recommend crown lengthening. For instance, if we detect a cavity in one of your teeth, but not enough of the tooth peaks out of the gum line for us to fill it, we may need a crown lengthening procedure before we can address the cavity. Crown lengthening is done by removing tissue or bone near the tooth.

This procedure can also be used to help individuals with “gummy smiles”. A gummy smile is when the upper teeth are covered by a lot of gum tissue, detracting from your smile. Crown lengthening will expose more of the teeth and can restore the look of your smile.

How is it done?

For the lengthening procedure, Drs. Larry and Gary will use local anesthesia. The length of the surgery depends on how many teeth need to be treated. It also depends on the severity of the surgery. If only gum tissue needs to be removed, the procedure will not take as long. However, if bone needs to be removed or reshaped, it could take longer. Once the tooth has been exposed, the surgical area is washed with sterile salt water, and the gums are sutured back together.

What do I do after my crown-lengthening procedure?

Crown-lengthening does not require much in regards to aftercare. Any pain associated with the procedure can be fixed with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen. The procedure will take a week or two to recover from fully. Additionally, if you are getting crown lengthening to prepare your teeth for another restorative procedure, you will need to wait around 4-6 weeks.

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