It's important that we take great care of our teeth whenever possible. That means brushing, flossing, and making sure we see our dentists twice a year for regular cleanings, checkups, and maintenance. Of course, sometimes problems do occur, and when they are serious, it takes a truly skilled restorative and cosmetic dentist to address these problems.
One particular dental issue that requires special attention is tooth decay below the gumline or tooth damage below the gumline. The only way to effectively restore the tooth and prevent further dental problems from occurring is the crown lengthening treatment.
About Crown Lengthening Treatment
Crown lengthening treatment essentially refers to the careful removal of gum tissue around the base of a tooth in order to expose more of the tooth structure. Hence the crown of the tooth is lengthened.
Why is crown lengthening necessary?
When serious tooth decay or tooth damage occurs under the gumline, it is very difficult for a dentist to repair the tooth properly simply with the tooth in its current state. There may be other damage that is not visible to the dentist that needs to be addressed. Only be exposing more of the tooth's structure and removing some gum tissue in the process can the necessary restorative work be done (e.g., placing restorations such as dental fillings or porcelain crowns).
What to Expect During Crown Lengthening
Patients are given local anesthesia during the crown lengthening treatment. (In certain cases, general anesthetic may be used.) The oral surgeon or periodontist will then carefully make incisions on the gum tissue to expose the tooth's root structure and even parts of the jawbone if needed. The restoration is then carefully placed. Once the dental restoration is in place, the gum tissue will carefully be stitched back to heal.
What to Expect After Crown Lengthening Treatment
Patients will be given strict instructions to follow after the procedure to help ensure proper healing of the gum tissue. These instructions will include diet concerns, notes on how to maintain good oral hygiene, tips for dealing with discomfort and swelling, and other related matters.
Follow-up visits will be scheduled within the first week after the crown lengthening to remove stitches and monitor healing. Additional visits will be scheduled at the discretion of your dentist. Overall, the gums should be healed after about three to four months.
Crown Lengthening for Aesthetic Enhancement of a Smile
In addition to treating serious tooth decay, the crown lengthening procedure can also be performed in order to address cosmetic matters related to gum contour. This can help improve smile aesthetics in a rather dramatic way, focusing almost solely on the soft tissues to add beauty to the teeth themselves.
Ideal Candidates for Aesthetic Crown Lengthening
The best candidates for cosmetic crown lengthening are people who have smiles in which the gums are very prominent. These gummy smiles are most often genetic, and they can be rather unappealing. Your dentist/oral surgeon will carefully remove only enough gum tissue in order to achieve the ideal cosmetic results.
Learn More About Crown Lengthening Treatment
If you would like to learn more about crown lengthening treatment and what it can do for you, be sure to contact our Doylestown dental care practice today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible dental health and smile aesthetics in the process.