As time passes, your teeth can begin to wear down. Although this process is sometimes the result of decay, other things such as a fracture of the tooth, chipping, or just wear and tear can cause the crown of the tooth to begin to wear away. If this has happened to you, you may be a good candidate for crown lengthening.
What is crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is basically a form of osseous surgery, except it is performed on a much smaller level. When you have a crown lengthened, we will do two things. First, we will evaluate the tooth to determine if the gum and bone tissues around it are too high to allow the restoration to adequately fit on and adhere to the tooth: if it is, we will adjust the amount of tissue around the tooth until an adequate amount of your tooth is exposed.
Following this, we will custom fabricate a restoration for you. This piece will fit over your existing tooth and will be fabricated with the latest technologies available in the restorative dentistry field. Sometimes the restoration will be made from a type of ceramic or similar material, depending on a number of factors.
After we have attached the restoration to your tooth, we will use dissolving sutures to repair any tissue incisions, and we will usually put a protective dressing over the treated area for added protection. After a few weeks you will return to our office where we will inspect the site and remove any sutures that remain.
Are there any risks?
Crown lengthening is a safe and established procedure. The largest risks come when the patient does not have an adequate amount of tooth remaining to which we can anchor the restoration. If this is the case, we may evaluate your situation and recommend some other restorative procedure such as a dental bridge or a dental implant.
How long does it take?
The procedure itself does not take a significant amount of time in our office. However, we will need to see you a number of times as we go through the steps of the process. We will need to look at your teeth and determine the correct size and shape for the restoration. Then we will need to attach it and engage in any gum or bone adjustments. Finally, we will need to see you a few weeks after the process so we can ensure that you are healing properly and remove any sutures that have not dissolved.
What should you do now?
As with any dental procedure, the specifics of a crown lengthening procedure will vary depending on a number of factors unique to you. As such, if you think this may be an option you would like to explore, you should contact us and let us inspect your teeth.
We can give you an expert opinion as to the viability of a crown lengthening procedure as well as giving you a good idea of exactly how long it will take. Contact us today and let’s get started!