Our general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kevin Boulard, is experienced at crown lengthening to enhance the visual appeal and health of your smile. Crown lengthening can come off as an odd name to some since it sounds like it involves adding length to the tooth. A more precise term is crown exposure because gum tissue is cut away to reveal more of the enamel. You may be a patient that is receiving crown lengthening for aesthetic reasons if you want to improve a “gummy” smile. Crown lengthening could also be performed if not enough of your tooth is visible to support a filling, dental crown, or another restoration. To learn more, schedule an appointment at Something To Smile About in Merrimack, NH.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CROWN LENGTHENING?
The main advantage of crown lengthening is that treatment can significantly improve the overall appearance of your smile. Patients at Something to Smile About also find that their teeth and gums are healthier following the procedure. Additional benefits of working with our team include:
- Safe: Crown lengthening is a safe and effective treatment when performed by our experienced dentist.
- Minimal discomfort: With our anesthetics, you will be comfortable throughout the entire process.
- Results that last: The benefits of crown lengthening will last for years as long as you continue to practice good oral hygiene.
WHO NEEDS CROWN LENGTHENING?
Ideal candidates for crown lengthening should be in good overall health, particularly in terms of the gums. Conditions such as gum (periodontal) disease may have to be addressed before crown lengthening is performed. Most frequently, crown lengthening for cosmetic reasons will correct a “gummy” smile. In these situations, excess gum tissue can be removed. This will make the proportion of gum tissue to enamel look more appealing and give you an even gum line. In some cases, crown lengthening can also be required to complete a restoration like a dental filling, crown, or bridge.
DR. BOULARD’S CROWN LENGTHENING TECHNIQUE
Before the crown lengthening process starts, a numbing injection will be placed on the necessary areas to minimize your discomfort. You can talk about other sedation options with Dr. Boulard during your initial consultation to help you stay calm throughout the process (if needed). Once your mouth is prepared, the gum tissue will be removed in small slivers to gradually reveal more of the enamel. Then, your gum line will be shaped for a lifted and even look. When Dr. Boulard has finished the crown lengthening process, he will stitch the soft gum tissue.
CARING FOR YOUR GUMS AFTER CROWN LENGTHENING
After your treatment, your mouth may be sore and swollen. Cold compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers may be used to lessen your discomfort. Follow a soft food or liquid diet for a few days as your gums heal. You should keep your mouth clean at home with soft brushing and mouthwash while avoiding flossing in that area. In some cases, you might need to schedule a follow-up appointment at Something To Smile About for our team to monitor your recovery. Dr. Boulard will also continuously assess your oral health during your routine dental exams.
CROWN LENGTHENING FAQ
Does crown lengthening hurt?
Dr. Boulard will numb the treatment area with an anesthetic before your procedure begins to prevent any possible pain or discomfort. If you are concerned about pain, you can talk to Dr. Boulard during your consultation about other sedation options to help keep you comfortable. After the procedure, your gums may be sore and swollen. Dr. Boulard recommends ice packs, OTC pain relievers, and in some cases may prescribe pain medication to help control any possible discomfort during the recovery process.
How long does crown lengthening take?
How long the crown lengthening procedure will take depends on the number of teeth treated, but in general, the procedure can take between 45 — 90 minutes.
How long is the recovery process from crown lengthening?
Recovery time will depend on the extent of your procedure, but on average, the recovery time is 2 – 3 months. You’ll be able to return to normal activities fairly quickly. For at least 2 — 3 days after your procedure, you’ll need to avoid strenuous exercise and activities. Some recommendations for recovery from a crown lengthening procedure include:
- Using OTC (over-the-counter) pain relievers or prescription pain medication for any possible pain or discomfort if it is prescribed
- Avoiding hot foods and liquids for the first 24 hours
- Follow a soft food or liquid diet for 3 — 4 days as directed
- Avoiding spicy, acidic, hard, crunchy foods
- Avoiding alcohol
- Avoiding smoking or using tobacco products
- If you have dressings to protect the gums, leave them in for a week to two weeks as advised by Dr. Boulard
- Gently brush your teeth with a soft brush while using mouthwash to rinse
- Avoid flossing the treatment area until healing is well underway and as directed by Dr. Boulard
SEE MORE OF YOUR CROWN
If you need to lengthen a crown in your smile, learn more information at Something To Smile About. By eliminating extra gum tissue, you’ll be able to say goodbye to the look of a “gummy” smile. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Boulard to determine if you are a candidate for crown lengthening at our dental practice in Merrimack, NH.