Gummy Smile Crown Lengthening
To keep it simple and to the point, crown lengthening is done through gum removal. The crown is the part of the tooth visible above the gum line. The balance of the tooth is the root or roots. When something needs to be done on that crown and there isn’t enough surface for the dentist to work with the gum can be reduced to make more of the tooth a crown and make it more accessible. Let’s look at conditions that may lead to this scenario, the process of the crown lengthening itself and the benefits of undergoing a crown lengthening procedure.
Do I need Crown Lengthening?
Let’s start with a broken tooth. There is not enough of the natural crown showing, or exposed above the gum line, to support a new crown, or even a filling or overlay. By crown lengthening you and your dentist can achieve a primary goal and that is to keep your natural teeth. That fractured tooth can be saved with this simple procedure.
A second scenario is when some folks just have a lot of gum tissue around their upper teeth. The dental industry calls this a gummy smile. By introducing crown lengthening in this case it will involve more than one tooth but the final result is a far and away more appealing smile. Your natural smile may make your teeth look disproportionate to the size of your face. By moving the gums back to their natural level it will reveal more of your gorgeous natural teeth. A third scenario is if decay is detected and identified below the gum line making it very difficult to reach and resolve the problem. By exposing more of the crown the dentist can make the necessary repairs more efficiently. A final scenario is simply a short tooth. Your gums need at least two mm of tooth surface area to bond to in order to discourage food being trapped around the tooth.
Crown Lengthening Procedure
A relatively painless procedure, crown lengthening is a common surgical procedure that often times takes less than one hour. Basically the periodontist will remove the gum tissue around the tooth in question to literally expose more of the tooth and make it more accessible. Before the procedure the staff at Smile Eden Prairie will have you seen by a periodontist that specializes in gums. X-rays will be examined to determine the outcome of the procedure. You will also get your teeth professionally cleaned at Smile Eden Prairie before the crown lengthening is done. At the time of surgery you will receive a local anesthetic so the periodontist can make cuts to pull the gums away from the tooth in question. Often times some bone will have to be removed around the roots of the tooth. Once the gums have been removed the surgical area will be washed with sterile salt water and the gums will be stitched back together. The gums themselves will heal in roughly three to four weeks. If there was bone removed this could take up to six months to heal.
Follow Up and Legthening Aftercare
After your crown lengthening your dentist will prescribe some pain relievers, give you a mouth rinse to use and then instruct you to follow a somewhat soft diet. Even when brushing your teeth you’ll want to be careful to avoid brushing the stitches. In about seven to ten days you will return to the periodontist to have the stitches taken out.
It will be another six weeks to three months before the preparation will continue on your final crown or work begins on the disease on the tooth below the previous gum line. Your gums need adequate time to heal. After the procedure you may find that the tooth that is now exposed is more sensitive to hot or cold. The original root is now exposed. This sensitivity will subside over time when a final permanent crown is put on the tooth.
By deciding to proceed with a crown lengthening you have kept your original tooth and avoided a tooth extraction. A tooth extraction leads to yet another restoration procedure, a dental implant or a dental bridge. Your fractured or damaged tooth now has a crown and looks perfectly normal. Or the decay has been removed from below the original gum line and the tooth is healthy. Finally, you no longer have a gummy smile but own a smile full of pearly white teeth. Better yet, this episode should help you realize the importance of seeing the staff at Smile Eden Prairie twice a year. These oral examinations become a review of the progression of your oral care and your oral hygiene practices. Beyond the tracking done with the exam they will also update x-rays monitoring what is going on below the gum line, exam the health of your gums as well and then professionally clean your teeth every time. Granted, a broken tooth is beyond your control. The other issues that may lead up to crown lengthening may be in your control with good oral hygiene at home. The dental industry suggests that besides those two examinations a year you should be brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at each time. You should also be flossing once a day to remove the plaque from between the teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach. Plaque is the culprit to damaging your teeth. This sticky substance carries bacteria and bacteria, sugars and acids attack the enamel on your teeth. With regular and consistent appointments at Smile Eden Prairie you can exercise preventive dentistry in maintaining good health for your teeth and gums. If the crown lengthening procedure is the result of an accident insurance will provide coverage if the surgery is warranted. If it falls into the cosmetic dentistry arena, such as addressing a gummy smile, you may be covering the cost of the entire procedure. Either way, there is no way to put a value on your smile. Enjoy that smile and protect that smile.
Contact Smile Eden Prairie
Having a crown lengthening procedure can significantly impact and improve the lives of those with damaged teeth. Scheduling an appointment for crown lengthening is the first step towards being confident in your smile once again. We are here to help you begin your journey towards the perfect smile! Please contact us to set up an appointment for crown lengthening at (952) 941-9829. At Smile Eden Prairie, we are passionate about your smile and committed to providing you with the quality care you need!