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What is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening may be essential to your oral health. If you don’t have enough tooth structure to support a crown, you may need a crown lengthening procedure. If your teeth are broken or if they have decay, this procedure may be necessary.

To expose more of a tooth's surface for a crown, dental surgeons can alter gum tissue and sometimes bone as well. This procedure is known as crown lengthening. It’s quite common and usually takes less than an hour.

At her practice at New Dimension Dentistry, New York's Dr. Doris Giraldo has cared for patients of all ages for more than 30 years. Dr. Giraldo lowers gum tissue and shaves down bone to expose more of the tooth above the gum line during crown lengthening. This makes it possible for your crown to fit nicely, so it's most durable and comfortable.

What is crown lengthening?

Crown lengthening is a surgical dental measure where the visible part of the tooth that protrudes from the bone into the oral cavity and is surrounded by the gums is surgically "lengthened." 

Reasons for a crown lengthening

If a tooth does not have enough dental structure to hold the crown on its own, crown lengthening may be necessary. Damaged or decayed teeth can prevent a crown from adequately attaching to them.

By reducing gum tissue and shaving down bone, crown lengthening allows more of the tooth to be visible above the gum line. When a crown fits properly, it’s more comfortable and allows for better oral hygiene.

When a person smiles, the gums are visible above their teeth, causing them to appear "gummy." One purpose of crown lengthening is to fix this issue.

Crown lengthening procedure

Fortunately, the risks associated with crown lengthening are relatively low because it’s a minimally invasive treatment.

Dr. Girlado performs crown lengthening procedures on an outpatient basis, which means you can go straight home when she’s finished. In general, the length of time the procedure takes varies based on the number of teeth that need to be extracted and whether the doctor is removing bone and soft tissue. 

During the procedure, Dr. Giraldo may remove any temporary crowns on nearby teeth and replace them afterward if you have any.

Typically, you’ll receive local anesthesia and may also get a sedative. The doctor then cuts the gums to expose the roots and bone of the teeth by pulling them away from the teeth. The gum tissue may be the only part of the tooth that needs to be removed in some cases. 

After suturing the surgical site, Dr. Giraldo rinses it with saltwater. In some cases, the area is bandaged over for additional protection after stitching the gums back together.

When the local anesthesia wears off, you might feel some pain. Our staff makes sure you’re as comfortable as possible after a crown lengthening procedure, so we’ll likely prescribe you pain relievers and an antiseptic mouthwash to help your gums recover.

Crown lengthening can improve your smile, your comfort, and your oral health. Book an appointment at New Dimension Dentistry using our online booking tool. You can also call the office at 201-904-3060 to schedule a consultation.

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