Crown Lengthening


Crown lengthening is done when a tooth needs to be fixed. Sometimes, not enough of the tooth sticks out above the gum to support a filling or crown.

This can happen when a tooth breaks off at the gum line. It also can happen when a crown or filling falls out of a tooth and there is decay underneath. To place a filling or crown, Dr. Giraldo will need to expose more of the tooth. She will do this by removing some gum tissue or bone. Some people have a lot of gum tissue around their upper teeth. Dr. Giraldo likes to call this "gummy smile." This also can be treated with crown lengthening.

crown lengthening

How It Is done
Dr. Giraldo begins a crown lengthening by using local anesthesia. How long it takes will depend on the number of teeth that need treatment. Even if only one tooth is involved, crown lengthening typically includes neighboring teeth, too. That allows the tissues to be reshaped gradually. If both bone and soft tissue are removed, the procedure will take longer than if only soft tissue is removed.

Dr. Giraldo will then make cuts that will pull the gums away from the teeth. This will expose the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone. In some cases, she could also simply remove a little gum tissue that will expose enough tooth for her to place a crown or filling. However, in most cases, Dr. Giraldo will need to remove some bone from around the roots of the teeth. Once she has exposed enough tooth, the surgical area will be washed with sterile salt water and the gums will be stitched together. Dr. Giraldo will then put a bandage over the stitches if needed.

If you have temporary crowns on any of the involved teeth, the crowns may be removed before the procedure begins. Dr. Giraldo will put them back afterward.

Dr. Giraldo will then prescribe a pain reliever and a mouth rinse. She will also ask you to follow a somewhat soft diet. You can brush the teeth near the stitches, but avoid the gums. Remove food particles with a toothpick or a water irrigator.