When is Crown Lengthening Recommended?
A dental crown is a permanent restoration that covers and protects your entire tooth. By “capping” your natural tooth, a crown can improve the strength, appearance, and integrity of your tooth. However, before capping or crowning your tooth, dental surgery may be required in preparation for the final restoration.
In a procedure known as crown lengthening, your periodontist can extend the height or size of the portion of the tooth that is visible above the gumline. For the stability of your crown, there must be enough tooth structure for it to hold it in place. When your tooth has broken down, or when tooth decay has extended below the gum line, crown lengthening can reduce the gum tissue and bone level in order to gain better access to your tooth.
This very common surgical procedure, usually performed in less than one hour, can be completed with local anesthetics or sedatives. Specialized surgical instruments will be used to recontour both the gum tissue and the underlying bone around the tooth for which your crown has been planned. Only the tissue that is in the immediate area surrounding the tooth will be treated, and there is no risk to the neighboring teeth.
Once the appropriate amount of tooth structure has been exposed, the gum tissue will be stabilized with sutures and sterile bandages. After a brief healing period (approximately 1-2 weeks), you will be advised to return to the periodontal office for a follow-up evaluation. When adequate healing has been achieved, you will be instructed to return to your restorative dentist to complete the remainder of your treatment. Your tooth can be prepared for the previously planned dental crown, filling, or appropriate restoration and you may resume normal brushing and flossing.
The dental surgery that is required for proper crown lengthening can yield valuable results. You can expect a much nicer fitting dental crown and improved access for plaque control around your new restoration. To schedule a consultation and find out if crown lengthening is right for you, call the Pittsburgh office of Dr. Garry J. Bloch for your appointment today.