Crown Lengthening Pain, Healing & Risks

How to prepare for a crown lengthening

Depending on the reason for your crown lengthening, you may need to have a temporary crown set in place to protect your tooth and prepare your mouth for your new permanent crown.

You will visit with your oral surgeon to talk about your medical and dental history.  You will review your x-rays and talk about your medications.  These will all affect your surgery and your healing so it is important to take the time to be thorough and detailed.

What happens during a crown lengthening procedure

Once you and your periodontist have agreed on a treatment plan, your surgeon will perform the outpatient procedure.  You will be in and out of the office on the same day.  Depending on the anesthesia used and how many teeth are affected, you may even be done in less than an hour.  If your periodontist has more bone and soft gum tissue to address, then your mouth will need more time.  If you had a temporary crown, your periodontist will take the time to replace this before you leave as well.

Your periodontist will use a local anesthetic on your gums to help you stay comfortable during the procedure.  Some people even opt to have a sedative to ensure they are relaxed during the periodontist’s work.  Once you are at ease and ready, the periodontist will remove the gums and in some cases the bone tissue to expose more tooth.  The surgeon will rinse off the area with a salt water rinse and then suture the gums into their new placement.  To keep the healing free from infection and fully protected, the surgeon will place a bandage over the sutured gums.

As the anesthesia and sedative wears off, you will start to feel the pain from the surgery.  At this point, ice packs will help the swelling to stay down, pain relievers will help you feel more at ease and a special mouth rinse will encourage healing and prevent infection.

Possible risks

As with any surgery, there is risk of infection, but the surgeon will give you thorough instructions to avoid any complications.  If the instructions are confusing or you find that you are experiencing fever or your gums are not healing, reach out to your dentist’s office.

As with any surgery, you may find that you are bleeding at the sight where the dentist cut away some gum tissue or that this newly exposed tooth is more sensitive than your other teeth to hot and cold variances.  This sensitivity will improve over time.  If your dentist only worked on one tooth, then this tooth may appear to be longer than the teeth on either side.  If the periodontist removed bone, then your tooth may feel looser.  If you end up having to have this tooth extracted and replaced, the dentist may have a more difficult time placing an implant due to the decreased amount of bone.

The recovery process

You can plan on your recovery to last about three months from the day of the surgery.  You will be able to resume a mostly normal routine as soon as your gums heal within the first seven to ten days.  Immediately following surgery, you should be able to resume work outs and strenuous activity about two to three days later.  More exertion can lead to more bleeding so be mindful your first time back at the gym.

More information on Crown Lengthening : Do I Need Crown Lengthening?