In today’s world, where appearance is everything, something as important as your teeth can have a significant impact on your image. An individual’s smile is one of their most defining beauty traits. If you’re conscious about the appearance of your teeth, you will smile less often and will be unable to enjoy yourself fully. Having the confidence to laugh and smile freely has a considerable impact on one’s mood and general mental health as well. After all, laughter is indeed the best therapy.
With the technological advancements in today’s day and age, even if you weren’t born with the perfect smile, creating one is entirely plausible and rather simple as well. Numerous cosmetic dental procedures exist today that can help you achieve that picture-perfect smile you’ve been vying for. One such dental procedure that improves the health and appearance of teeth is crown lengthening.
Crown lengthening is a simple procedure that can be done to treat several esthetic and physiologic issues of the teeth and gums. To help you better understand the process, we’ve summarized it down to its basics.
What Is Crown Lengthening Procedure?
Crown lengthening is a simple surgical procedure performed by a dentist or rather, by a specialist periodontist. The crown is the part of a tooth that is visible in the mouth. During the procedure, the gums, also known as the gingiva, are resected to expose more of the crown of the tooth. Although traditionally, the surgery is done using hand instruments, such as the scalpel, to remove gingival tissue, some dentists prefer using modern lasers for the procedure.
Why Do I Need A Crown Lengthening Procedure?
Esthetic crown lengthening is often done for many reasons. These can include reducing the size of the gum tissue to make teeth look longer in patients with a “gummy smile,” or to even out contour margins of the gums.
Localized crown lengthening is often done for restorative purposes as well, such as for the placement of crowns or veneers. Gum tissue, and sometimes bone as well, is removed to expose more tooth structure so that a crown can be placed on it successfully.
How Is Crown Lengthening Procedure Performed?
Before the process starts, the patient is usually walked through the crown lengthening procedure steps. Meanwhile, the dentist preps for surgery, and all the necessary precautions are taken in accordance with the patient’s history, such as using different gloves for patients with a latex allergy.
Once the patient is seated on the dental unit, the procedure can begin. Crown lengthening is usually performed with local anesthesia. However, rare exceptions to the case do exist, and some patients may be treated under general anesthesia. Once the area is anesthetized properly, the dentist uses a scalpel to cut away some of the gum tissue and expose more of the tooth structure. If only gingival resection is needed, then an incision can be made about 2 inches below the gum line or cervical margins to avoid violation of the biological width.
Sometimes, further tissue removal is needed as well, and the surgeon may use rotary instruments to remove some bone from around the tooth as well. In such cases, dentists must ensure that at least 3 mm of attached gingiva remains to promote good periodontal health and healing.
Once a satisfactory amount of the tooth structure is exposed, the dentist will wash the site with saline and place an intraoral bandage to stop excessive bleeding and prevent infections. In some cases, stitches may also be given, which will need to be removed after 8 to 12 days. Some post-operative discomfort in the form of pain and swelling is typical but is managed adequately with medication. Complete healing takes about 2 to 3 months but can be slowed down due to factors such as age, immunity status, diabetes, and improper care.
Do Gums Grow Back After A Crown Lengthening Procedure?
Usually, gums pull back slightly more after the healing is complete, and the final gingival margin can be established then for placement of crowns or veneers. If a bone has also been removed, then the chances of your gums growing back are very less. Even with a simple gingival resection, gums do not grow back and usually stay within the newly contoured margins. However, some exceptions to this case have been noted where the gum tissue has grown beyond the margins due to gingival hyperplasia.
How Much Does It Cost For A Crown Lengthening Procedure?
Like most surgical, dental procedures, crown lengthening cost can be quite high. It can cost anywhere between $1000 to $4000. The higher the number of teeth that need to be treated, the higher the final cost. Most high-end, private practices charge hefty amounts, whereas general hospitals and out-patient departments cost less.
If the procedure is done for medical purposes such as for placing restorations and prostheses, then your dental insurance may cover a part of the final bill. However, if you get esthetic crown lengthening, insurance companies are not likely to cover the bill.
Crown lengthening is a simple dental procedure that can drastically and instantly change the appearance of your teeth. If you have a gummy smile or uneven gingival contours, you will notice an instant improvement in your smile. Crown lengthening can also be performed to aid in the placement of crowns and veneers. If a crown or veneer is placed without proper crown lengthening where it is needed, the prosthesis is likely to fall. The procedure itself is simple and can be done in under an hour. There may be slight post-operative discomfort, but this is taken care of by medication such as painkillers.
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Crown Lengthening are completely safe and prevent permanent bone loss in your teeth. Crown Lengthening help you get a beautiful smile.