Crown Lengthening Procedure San Diego
Esthetic and Functional crown lengthening procedures
Improve Your Smile with Crown Lengthening in San Diego
We all know the characteristics of a traditionally beautiful smile: straight, white, symmetrical teeth. To achieve that winning grin, though, you need to have a strong foundation underneath your teeth, deep in your gums and bones. If you’ve got hidden decay, overgrown gingival tissue, or damage beneath the gumline, you might need a little extra help to restore the health, function, and beauty of your teeth. Fortunately, San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry can fix the foundation of your smile with a crown lengthening procedure.
What is crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a periodontal procedure that involves surgically recontouring your gum tissue and supporting bones to improve both the appearance and the condition of your smile. This can either be done on its own, or in conjunction with additional restorative treatment.
Crown lengthening is a dental procedure that works to reveal more of the crown of the tooth. The crown is the part of the tooth that pokes out of the top of the gums, the pearly whites that make up the smile. The dentist works to expose more of the crown in a simple and relatively painless procedure by moving the gums closer to the root of the tooth. While this procedure can be used for aesthetic purposes to make for a more pleasing smile, there is also functional crown lengthening as well.
There are two types of crown lengthening procedures available: Esthetic and Functional.
1.Esthetic Crown Lengthening for Irregular Gum Levels & Gummy Smiles
Often performed on its own, esthetic crown lengthening repositions the gum line, removing excess gum tissue and revealing the natural enamel of the tooth hidden behind it. This is an effective way of improving “gummy smiles” and making “short teeth” appear longer. It also has the added health benefit of preventing pockets from forming in your gums, which can stave off future periodontal disease.
This quick and easy procedure can even the gum line to perfectly reveal your teeth, giving them a more symmetrical appearance.
The crown lengthening procedure can also help patients who have a “gummy” smile. This is the case when the gums come too far down on the teeth, making the teeth look shorter and disproportionate to the size of your face. By moving the gums up to a more natural level, the periodontist reveals your gorgeous natural teeth and smile for all to see.
2.Functional Crowning Lengthening is Used to Access Decay
Functional crown lengthening is necessary when a dentist identifies decay in the tooth they cannot easily access. This decay is usually hidden deep beneath the gums, and no matter what methods they use, they cannot properly access the decay without performing a crown lengthening procedure. This will not be a permanent change, as the periodontist will put the gums back to a lower level when the decay is removed. This procedure will also create more tooth structure for the new crown to grab onto, allowing the dentist to make a crown with better retention.
In some cases of tooth fracture, crown lengthening can also be performed to save a partially fractured tooth from extraction, as the gum line is brought down to reveal more tooth structure for a dentist to be able to make a crown.
Functional crown lengthening exposes a greater surface area of your underlying tooth, allowing adequate space for a restoration to be properly placed.
What is involved in a crown lengthening procedure?
Whether you require an esthetic or a functional crown lengthening procedure, you’ll need to prepare with a dental evaluation and X-rays. On the day of your procedure, Dr. Kwok will numb the affected area with a local anesthetic before reflecting the gums back to expose the underlying support structure of your teeth. Dr. Kwok will then trim away any excess gum tissue, and if necessary, smooth and level the bone. When the desired result is achieved, your gums are washed out and stitched back together, and healing can begin.
The entire procedure takes about an hour, although the exact time may vary depending on the number of teeth being treated and the depth of the treatment area.
How long will it take me to heal from a crown lengthening procedure?
Initial healing times can vary from one to four days, depending on the extent of the procedure. Complete healing from functional crown lengthening can differ from person to person, varying from four weeks to eight months, at which point the dental restoration can be completed. For esthetic crown lengthening, it may take up to six months before any permanent crowns or veneers may be permanently cemented.
During your initial recuperation period, it’s important to take proper care of yourself to encourage a fast and thorough recovery. This includes:
- Taking any medication as prescribed
- Applying an ice pack to prevent swelling
- Avoiding alcohol and smoking
- Not brushing at the site
- Eating on the opposite side
Dr. Kwok will have specific guidelines for your recovery. Once healing is complete, you’ll have a healthy, stunning smile.
San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry are the Crown Lengthening Specialists
At San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we have years of experience performing the crown lengthening procedure. Dr. Kennie Kwok is ready to get your smile looking exactly as you envisioned it. We can help you determine if the crown lengthening procedure is necessary and lay out exactly what the procedure will consist of. Call us to book a consultation at (619) 543-0905 .