How Long Does Crown Lengthenin Take?

As you work with your dentist and periodontist on your smile to improve your overall health and aesthetics, you can use the advances in surgery techniques and tools to hit your goals.  As you discuss the possible treatment plans to address tooth decay that extends below your gum line or short teeth, the answer may be the same: crown lengthening at Downtown Dental Excellence.  Your dentist can remove gum tissue to better address tooth decay and cavities.  Your dentist can also remove gum tissue to increase the amount of tooth exposed and even out your gum line across all your teeth for a more even, toothy smile.  Inevitably, before you decide that this is the right treatment for you, you will need to know how long the process is from start to finish.

What is crown lengthening?

Crown lengthening is considered to be a minor periodontal surgery; the periodontist or dentist surgically removes gum tissue.  Without the additional gums, more of the tooth is exposed and leaves a larger appearing tooth.  In some cases, depending on the reason for your surgery, the procedure may include some bone removal as well, but not in every case.

Before the dentist starts, the dentist will numb your gums with an anesthetic, usually a local anesthetic administered through an injection.  The dentist will use a laser, cauterizing tool, scalpel or a combination of these to reshape the gum and bone.  To ensure that the tissue remains infection free and the dentist can clearly see the new gum shape, the dentist will use a rinsing solution, often sterile salt water.  If needed, the dentist may place a few stitches to help the gums maintain their new shape.  To protect the exposed tissue and encourage healing, the dentist will cover the area with a sterile dressing.

How long does crown lengthening take?

You will not be able to walk in to your dentist’s office, pick out a photo of what you want your new smile to look like and walk out the same day with your new smile.  The dentist will need to review your dental and medical history, have a clear idea of what you want your smile to be and offer you options of how you can change your mouth to get closer to what you want.

The timeline will vary from person to person but to have a general idea what your three to six month crown lengthening process will look like, you can expect the following:

  • To make sure that your dentist can get you closer to your preferred new look, the dentist needs to see what is under the gums before they are removed.  Your dentist will review your x-rays and you will schedule your surgery with a periodontist, a specialist.
  • Your periodontist has additional training on top of your general dentist’s training to perform these gum surgeries. The periodontist will take longer to address four teeth than one tooth with tooth decay.  If the teeth are at a prominent part of your smile, your periodontist will take additional time to ensure these highly visible teeth are symmetrical and balanced.
  • Immediately following your surgery, your gums will be swollen and you will have some pain, but ice packs and pain relief medication will help you stay comfortable. You will have more relief if you stick to soft foods and avoid directly brushing your healing gums.  To keep your gums clean from food, bacteria, and plaque, you can choose to rise regularly or even use a water flosser.
  • After seven to ten days, the periodontist can remove the stitches from your gums
  • After a month, you will have a check up with your periodontist to ensure your mouth is healing properly
  • After three months your gums should be fully healed and your tooth will be ready for a permanent crown, if that is the next step of your treatment plan.

More information on Crown Lengthening : Pain, Healing, and Risks of Crown Lengthening