Functional Crown Lengthening

The crown is the upper, enamel-covered part of tooth projecting beyond the gum line.  Essentially, this is the visible part of your tooth.  As is often the case, this is also the part that is first to be damaged.  A decayed tooth may have only a small amount of crown left.  To restore the tooth effectively, crown lengthening may be required.

Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure where the gum tissue is incised, and after displacing the soft tissue, the bone surrounding the decayed tooth is re-contoured to expose an adequate amount of healthy tissue from the tooth to be operated on.

This procedure is usually part of a treatment plan for the restoration of a tooth by the application of an artificial crown.  It prevents damaging the gum line and bone tissue by providing adequate space for the fitting of the crown.

Now perhaps you have always wanted to consult you’re a professional to improve your “gummy” smile but are too shy about it?  Your teeth may not actually be as short as they appear to be.  In most cases, they are just covered with excessive gum tissue.   Thus, crown lengthening may be the right procedure for you.

Generally, crown lengthening can be done as an out-patient procedure, depending on how many teeth are affected.   Before the actual procedure, a professional tooth cleaning might be suggested.  Pre-operative instructions will be provided such as avoidance of taking aspirin at least a week before the procedure since it can impede with blood clotting causing excessive bleeding during the procedure.  Anti-inflammatory medications are also prescribed that should be taken prior the procedure.

After the procedure, mild to moderate discomfort should be expected.  This pain is usually caused by the inflammation brought about by the healing process.   If the swelling troubles you, you can apply a cold application to the site.  Compliance with post-operative medication regimen should also be strictly observed to prevent complications from arising. Oral hygiene should still be maintained after the surgery. You should avoid mouthwash because it contains chemicals that could irritate the healing tissue.  Warm salt water is reported to have soothing effects and should be used instead.

Crown lengthening is a procedure often done in conjunction with other procedures. If important factors are not taken into consideration, complications such as chronic pain, chronic inflammation of the gum tissue, and loss or damage of surrounding bone could occur.  It is essential to consult with your dental team and discuss all possible options, thus ensuring you get the best possible treatment suited to your specific needs.

With the proper preparation and in the right hands, this procedure might be your best chance to achieve the smile you have always wanted.

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