Some people feel that their teeth are too short, because they have a “gummy” smile where too much of the gum covers a person’s teeth. The teeth themselves may actually be the right length, but it is the gums that need to be corrected to improve a person’s smile.
Improving a Gummy Smile Through Crown Lengthening
To improve this type of a look, Dr. Ting performs what is known as a crown lengthening procedure. This is accomplished by taking excess gum and bone tissue and reshaping it to expose more of a patient’s tooth. It can be done for a single tooth or along a complete gumline, resulting in a broader and more toothy smile.
In some cases, crown lengthening is also performed to expose more of a tooth that needed to be restored or cosmetically enhanced. If a tooth is decayed or broken below the gumline, it may be difficult to repair or restore. By exposing more of the tooth, it may be possible to then add a crown or a bridge.
What a Crown Lengthening Procedure Entails
Before a crown lengthening can take place, Dr. Ting will take x-rays as part of a preparatory visit. During the next visit, a patient will be given local anesthesia, and Dr. Ting will remove soft tissue surrounding one or more of the patient’s teeth. In some cases, bone may also need to be removed. Cuts will pull the gums away from the teeth and expose the roots. In cases where tooth restoration is taking place, Dr. Ting will place a temporary crown over the affected tooth before stitching the gums back together.
After the Procedure
You will be instructed to use ice on your face to reduce any post-surgical swelling. You will also be given prescriptions for a pain reliever and mouth wash. In addition, you will be required to follow a soft foods diet until healing takes place on the impacted area.
You can brush teeth near your stitches, but will need to take care around the gums when removing food particles and bacteria around the tooth.
One to two weeks after the crown lengthening procedure, Dr. Ting will remove the stitches to promote further healing. It will take a few months for the area to fully heal. When the area is healed, the tooth can be restored with a final crown.
Think Oral Implants and Periodontics serves patients in Paoli, Malvern, Berwyn and surrounding Pennsylvania communities.