Crown Lengthening Procedure San Diego | Esthetic and Functional
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.
There are two types of crown lengthening procedures available: Esthetic and Functional.
1. Esthetic Crown Lengthening
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.
2. Functional Crown Lengthening
Dental restorations, including new crowns, require a solid, healthy tooth structure to ensure correct positioning. Unfortunately, many people who require restorations have deep decay, fractures, or inflammation in their gum or bone, which can impede the healing process and cause even bigger problems. 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.
Whether you need crown lengthening on its own, or as part of a larger restoration treatment plan, San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry can provide you with personalized, high-quality care. Call us at (619) 543-0905 for more information.