Crown lengthening

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Crown lengthening is a dental procedure performed by a dentist or a periodontist to expose a greater amount of tooth structure for the purpose of subsequently restoring the tooth prosthetically. This procedure is often necessary when a tooth needs a dental crown or other restoration, but there is not enough tooth structure visible above the gum line to support the restoration.

Procedure[edit | edit source]

Crown lengthening involves the removal of gum tissue, bone, or both to expose more of a tooth's structure. The procedure can be performed on a single tooth, multiple teeth, or the entire gum line. The steps typically include:

  1. **Local Anesthesia**: The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic.
  2. **Incision**: The gum tissue is cut and pulled away from the teeth to expose the roots and surrounding bone.
  3. **Reshaping**: The dentist or periodontist reshapes the bone and gum tissue to expose more of the tooth.
  4. **Sutures**: The gum tissue is then sutured back into place.
  5. **Healing**: The area is allowed to heal, which can take several weeks.

Indications[edit | edit source]

Crown lengthening is indicated in several situations, including:

  • **Restorative Needs**: When there is insufficient tooth structure to support a dental crown or other restoration.
  • **Aesthetic Concerns**: To correct a "gummy smile" where excessive gum tissue is visible when smiling.
  • **Subgingival Caries**: To access and treat decay that extends below the gum line.
  • **Fractured Teeth**: To expose more of a tooth that has fractured below the gum line.

Post-Operative Care[edit | edit source]

After the procedure, patients may experience some discomfort and swelling. Post-operative care includes:

  • **Pain Management**: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed medications.
  • **Oral Hygiene**: Gentle brushing and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash.
  • **Diet**: Soft foods and avoiding hot or spicy foods.
  • **Follow-Up Visits**: Regular check-ups to monitor healing and remove sutures if necessary.

Complications[edit | edit source]

Potential complications of crown lengthening include:

  • **Infection**: Risk of infection at the surgical site.
  • **Sensitivity**: Increased tooth sensitivity due to exposed roots.
  • **Gum Recession**: Unintended recession of the gum tissue.
  • **Aesthetic Issues**: Changes in the appearance of the gum line.

Related Procedures[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD