At Tribeca Smiles in New York, NY, our general and cosmetic dentist Dr. Frederick Solomon provides crown lengthening services. Crown lengthening or crown exposure surgery can be a confusing term to some patients as it may imply as a procedure to make a tooth longer. Actually, this procedure just reveals more of the tooth under the gum line. Dr. Solomon removes gum tissue, bone, or both to show more of the tooth for aesthetic reasons or for the application of a restoration. For example, a patient may want to get rid of a "gummy smile" when there is excessive gum tissue overshadowing the front teeth. Other patients have a crown lengthening out of necessity if not enough of a tooth is available to support a filling or a crown. Our team at Tribeca Smiles can meet the needs of either type of treatment.
Candidates for crown lengthening are in good general health and free of severe gum disease. It will be determined at a consultation if you are appropriate for this procedure. If your teeth are largely covered by gums already, are uneven, or look like they may be too small in proportion to your smile, you would probably benefit from this procedure. Other candidates need it to enable the dentist to complete restorations like a crown or bridge on a larger portion of the tooth. However, if you are currently dealing with gum (periodontal) disease or don’t have enough bone, the procedure may not be appropriate at this time.
What To Expect
Before the crown lengthening begins, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area. If there are any temporary crowns in place, they will be removed for the procedure and replaced afterward. As the procedure commences, a small amount of the gum tissue will be removed very carefully in order to gradually shape it. If this alone does not accomplish the goal, some bone near the root will also be removed. This bone can be physically blocking the tooth just like excess gum tissue does. Once enough of the tooth is exposed, we will sterilize the area and the gums will be stitched back together in a new position.
Ice is going to be your best friend for a few hours after the procedure, since it will reduce swelling from the surgical site. In about a week you’ll return to have stitches removed, which shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. In six weeks, you will come back for a follow-up appointment just to make sure everything looks good and we can document your progress. Additionally, you will receive appropriate pain-reliever prescriptions as well as a prescription dental rinse, and detailed instructions on how to care for your teeth.
Your sensitivity to hot and colds will fade and soon return to normal. You can also carefully brush your teeth, but be careful not to brush on the stitches or the gums. If you get food particles lodged in your teeth, don’t floss for now. We recommend using a WaterPik during this time for better hygiene when flossing is not possible.
Plan Your Procedure
Lose Your Gummy Smile
Crown lengthening is an amazing procedure and can transform your smile. It can also be a vital procedure to enable additional tasks to repair teeth or to enable the installation of crowns. If you think you’re a candidate for aesthetic or oral health procedures, Tribeca Smiles is your starting point. Call us now to make an appointment with Dr. Solomon for a consultation.