The reasons for seeking oral surgery are many, ranging from medical necessity to esthetic enhancement. Many procedures, in fact, are useful for multiple reasons. At Specialty Dental Care here in Omaha, Nebraska, we are prepared to handle these multi-faceted oral surgeries, including a procedure called crown lengthening.
While many oral surgeries focus on the repair and regrowth of damaged tissues, others focus on the removal of tissues. This is the case with crown lengthening procedures.
What is crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a commonly-performed oral surgery in many periodontal facilities. In this procedure, gum tissue is removed to expose more of the tooth underneath the gumline. In some cases, bone is also removed in addition to gum tissue.
Who needs crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is often used to aid in the placement of bridges or crowns. Much like dental implants, crowns and bridges require a sufficient amount of solid bone in order to be securely placed. Circumstances in which decay is exposed or a tooth is broken off at the gum line require exposure of the bone below in order to provide enough foundation for a bridge or crown.
Additionally, crown lengthening can be used to correct what many dentists refer to as a “gummy” smile. A gummy smile occurs when excessive gum tissue around the upper portion of the teeth causes a shortened tooth appearance. The removal of excess gum tissue can be a relatively simple way to provide esthetic enhancement and increased quality of life.
What to Expect from the Crown Lengthening Process
Your dentist or periodontist will first perform an oral evaluation, then order and review necessary x-rays (if any) and assess your medical history before setting a date for your crown lengthening surgery. Some dentists will recommend a professional tooth cleaning, and may also place a temporary crown to guide the periodontist during the procedure.
While crown lengthening is considered to be a common oral surgery, it still requires the use of local anesthesia, and can take a considerable amount of time depending on the number of teeth that need attention.
Incisions are made and the gum tissue pulled back in order to expose the necessary amount of bone. Small amounts of bone located near the roots of the teeth are often removed during crown lengthening surgery.
Finally, the surgical site is cleaned and sutured back together. A mouth rinse and pain medications will be prescribed to help with discomfort and prevent infection. You may need to return within 2-4 weeks in order to get your stitches removed, and your periodontist will set up an appointment for a follow-up visit in 2-6 months.
You can expect to receive your final crown around 2-3 months after the surgery, provided the surgical site has healed properly.
Crown Lengthening at Specialty Dental Care
Whether you’re looking to correct a “gummy” smile or are in need of corrective oral surgery before a crown or bridge, Specialty Dental Care is an experienced choice in the Omaha area. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have about this extremely beneficial procedure.
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