Crown lengthening

What is a crown lengthening procedure?

Crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit over a natural tooth for aesthetic or structural reasons. A crown may be recommended when a tooth is cracked, broken, or misshapen. A crown can also be used to complete dental procedures, such as bridges, root canals, and dental implants. Crowns must be able to firmly affix to an existing tooth.

Crown lengthening can help. Dental surgeons perform crown lengthening by recontouring gum tissue, and sometimes bone, to expose more of a tooth’s surface for a crown. It’s a common procedure and often takes less than an hour to complete.

The purpose of a crown lengthening procedure

Crown lengthening can be necessary if there isn’t enough of the tooth in place to hold the crown on its own. Teeth that are broken or affected by tooth decay may prohibit a crown from firmly attaching.

Crown lengthening reduces gum tissue and shaves down bone when necessary so more of the tooth is above the gum’s surface. A properly fitted crown allows for better oral hygiene and comfort.Some people seek crown lengthening to alter a “gummy smile,” in which the gums are visible above the teeth when smiling.

 How to prepare for a crown lengthening

Your dental surgeon may fit you with a temporary crown until you can have your procedure. The temporary crown can protect your tooth in the interim and can make the fitting of your new crown easier.

Before your surgery, you will meet with the periodontist to give a medical history and for them to view your X-rays. During this appointment, you should talk to your surgeon about any medications you take. They’ll let you know if you need to discontinue any of them for the procedure.

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