Crown Lengthening Procedure

During a dental crown lengthening procedure, excess gum and bone tissue are reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to one tooth, to the gum line, or to several teeth to expose a natural, broad smile. Dr. Afar may also recommend crown lengthening surgery to make restorative or cosmetic dentistry procedures possible perhaps if a tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration, such as a crown or bridge. CL adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.

Crown Lengthening


Do I Need Crown Lengthening Surgery?

Before the surgery, the patient may require a professional tooth cleaning. If the patient needs a crown, the surgeon may place a temporary crown. The temporary crown protects the tooth and allows the surgeon to gage how much soft tissue or bone to remove.


How is Crown Lengthening performed?

The crown lengthening procedure is performed under local anesthesia. The periodontist will cut and peel the gums away from the teeth to expose the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone. The surgeon will then remove gum tissue and sometimes bone from around the roots of the teeth. Bone is removed using a combination of hand instruments and rotary instruments. Once enough of the tooth has been exposed, the area will be irrigated with sterile salt water and the gums will be stitched together. The periodontist may cover the surgical site with a dressing called an intraoral.

Even if only one tooth needs crown lengthening, the surgeon may include neighboring teeth so that the gum tissues are evenly reshaped. Post-surgery, the teeth will appear elongated because the gums are now shorter then before the surgery.

You will be given prescriptions for a pain reliever and a mouth rinse. Your dentist will ask you to follow a somewhat soft diet. You can brush the teeth near the stitches, but avoid the gums. Remove food particles with a toothpick or a water irrigator.


What To Do After Crown Lengthening Surgery?

The periodontist will prescribe pain medication and a chlorhexidine mouth rinse. An ice pack may be placed against the face to reduce swelling. The patient will be instructed in post-surgery care, and scheduled to return in 7 to 10 days for follow-up. The gums will be allowed to fully heal for one month then the tooth is prepared for the restoration or final crown.