|A confident smile is one of the most beautiful things you can wear, but you are ashamed or embarrassed by the appearance of your teeth, you may hesitate before flashing your grin to the world. A smile can help you make friends and advance at work, but if you are refusing to show your smile because you think it is unattractive or too “gummy”, then you may be a good candidate for a treatment procedure known as crown lengthening. We here at Arrowhead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery are pleased to offer this safe and effective treatment to any of our patients who may have concerns about a gummy smile.
What Can Crown Lengthening Do for Me?
We often hear our patients complain that they have “tiny” teeth or teeth that seem too short for the rest of their mouth. For these patients, the problem is not that their teeth are small, but that they have too much gum tissue covering their teeth. That can lead to a “gummy” smile, which may adorable on a small baby, but can lead to shame and shyness in fully grown adults.
Dental crown lengthening can remove this excess gum tissue, revealing the hidden tooth underneath it. Crown lengthening can greatly improve the appearance of your smile. During the procedure, we may remove any gum tissue that may be concealing your teeth. We may perform it on just one tooth, or several teeth, depending on your desires and the degree of gum tissue. We may also reshape the gum tissue and the bone underneath it.
Crown lengthening is not just for cosmetic concerns, either. We may use it in advance of a dental procedure such as a broken tooth needing to be fixed. If a tooth breaks off at the crown, we may have to lengthen the crown to repair the site. If a crown or a filling breaks, we may also need to lengthen the crown to remove any decay we find there. Other instances where we may advise a crown lengthening is if we need to place a crown or a filling and the tooth is hidden by your gums.
Crown lengthening is typically performed under local anesthesia and, depending on the extent of the procedure, may take around an hour. Sometimes it can take longer, especially if we work on multiple teeth. During the procedure, we will carefully remove any excess tissue and reshape the bones and the remaining gums.
Once we have achieved the desired results, we will apply sutures to the gums to help encourage healing. We will require a follow-up appointment in the first week after the procedure, then another at between four to six weeks to check on your healing. You can expect your gums to fully heal over the next three months.
A mild to moderate amount of discomfort may occur after the procedure, but you can treat it with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. We may also prescribe pain medicine for you afterward. If you notice you are running a fever, have excess bleeding or pain, or have any signs of an infection, please call us immediately, as this may be a sign of a complication.
Crown lengthening is an incredibly beneficial procedure for many of our patients and can treat a wide array of dental issues. To learn more about it, or to schedule an appointment at our office, please give us here at Arrowhead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery a call today at (623) 738-2564!