Esthetic Crown LengtheningThe Woodlands, TX
Esthetic dental crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that recontours the gum tissue (and sometimes bone) to correct a gummy smile. Patients with gummy smiles may feel their teeth look too short. Esthetic dental crown lengthening removes any excess gum tissue to expose more of the crown of the tooth.
Esthetic dental crown lengthening is available at Montgomery County Periodontal Associates in The Woodlands and the surrounding area. Take yourself one step closer to the smile of your dreams. Call us today at 281-404-7548 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Understanding Esthetic Dental Crown Lengthening
Esthetic dental crown lengthening is meant to reduce a patient's excessive gingival display, also known as excessive gum show. Excess gums can obscure even average-sized teeth, making them look short. The visible portion of the tooth above the gum line is known as the crown. In an esthetic dental crown lengthening procedure, a periodontist removes excess gum tissue (and sometimes bone) to make the teeth look longer.
Dental crown lengthening can also have functional and health benefits when performed in preparation for a bridge fitting or another restorative dental procedure. Removing the excess gingiva may also expose cavities beneath the gum line or fractured areas of the tooth. One or several teeth can be targeted, and even the entire gum line can be treated.
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Types of Esthetic Dental Crown Lengthening
There are three main types of esthetic dental crown lengthening: apically repositioned flap surgery, gingivectomy, and surgical extrusion. All three are best performed by a periodontist, or gum specialist. Furthermore, several different factors can affect the choice of technique. These include aesthetic considerations, the crown to root ratio, the appearance of the root, the proximity of the root, the need for a filling or cap, the presence of bone loss, and the position of the affected tooth or teeth. Dr. Mason can determine the best treatment option for each patient's unique situation during a one-on-one consultation.
Apically Repositioned Flap Surgery
An apically repositioned flap surgery involves creating a flap of tissue by making a small incision in the gums. Dr. Mason will then remove the extra tissue (and bone, if applicable) by lifting the flap before repositioning it toward the tooth's root. The flap will then be stitched into place, and it may be covered with a bandage or a dental dressing.
A gingivectomy involves removing the gum tissue with a scalpel, laser, or electrocautery while the patient is receiving local anesthesia. Recovery from this type of esthetic dental crown lengthening is fairly quick, with any pain subsiding after a week at most. If the surgery does not involve bone manipulation, then complete tissue healing will only take about four to six weeks.
When the tooth is fractured beneath the gum, surgical extrusion may be the only viable option. This procedure involves manually moving the tooth onto the desired location on the gum line. The tooth may be restabilized by stitches, and it may be anchored into place by a wire or splint.
Recovering from Esthetic Dental Crown Lengthening
While the recovery process varies on a procedure-by-procedure basis, the average recovery time for an esthetic dental crown lengthening procedure is approximately three months. Aside from avoiding strenuous activity (including heavy lifting and exertion) for the first two to three days after the surgery, patients can carry out their everyday activities as they heal.
Our team members will provide each patient with more detailed information on their healing process and what to expect. In general, however, patients should use an ice pack to reduce swelling, avoid hot foods and rinsing for the first 24 hours after surgery, and brush carefully to avoid disturbing the surgical site. Dressings should be left in for seven to 14 days, and we may replace the dressing once or twice during this period. Patients with a stent or denture should not remove the device.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some non-cosmetic reasons I may need esthetic dental crown lengthening?
As previously mentioned, esthetic dental crown lengthening may also have functional and health benefits when performed in preparation for bridges or another restorative dental procedure. This may be necessary for several reasons, including but not limited to: teeth that have broken off at the gum line, a gum line that extends beyond the tooth, insufficient tooth structure, or decay underneath a crown or filling that has fallen off.
How should I prepare for esthetic dental crown lengthening?
The first step to a dental crown lengthening is coming into our office for a checkup. You will undergo a thorough physical examination to determine the state of your gums and overall health before the surgery. You must also be in good oral health to undergo esthetic dental crown lengthening. Therefore, you should brush at least twice daily, floss at least once daily, and use a fluoridated mouthwash every day.
When should I call my periodontist after an esthetic dental crown lengthening procedure?
You are our number one priority, and we will take all the necessary precautions to keep you safe during the procedure. However, complications are possible. Should you experience any significant inflammation or pain, persistent bleeding, or any other possible signs of infection, call us immediately.
What are the possible risks associated with esthetic dental crown lengthening?
Though dental crown lengthening is a generally safe procedure when performed by a trained professional, no surgical treatment comes without risks. Some possible complications include bleeding at the surgical site and tooth sensitivity to hot and cold. Additionally, the treated tooth (or teeth) may look longer or feel looser when compared to the surrounding teeth following tissue and bone removal.
What is the prognosis for esthetic dental crown lengthening?
In addition to becoming safer, oral surgeries like esthetic dental crown lengthening have only become more effective and efficient over the years — especially when performed by specialists like periodontists. Putting yourself in the hands of a specialist (instead of a general dentist) can give you the extra peace of mind that your procedure will go successfully.
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