Is there a bit too much gum visible when you open your lips? Or are your teeth looking a little too small? In many cases, your smile can be made more beautiful by exposing more of the tooth with a process called crown lengthening (sometimes called a gum lift). Dr. Angelo M. Julovich is happy to offer this surgery to patients who would like to make cosmetic improvements; you can contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Crown lengthening involves the removal of excess gum tissue and bone around the upper teeth. It’s often used if there’s not enough room for a medically necessary dental crown to be placed, but the procedure can also be used for cosmetic purposes, such as an overly pronounced or uneven gumline.
Sometimes crown lengthening may not always be the best solution for improving your smile. If your teeth are particularly wide, for example, they may look too big afterwards. At Trinity Dental, Dr. Julovich will thoroughly examine your mouth and help you determine the best approach.
How long a crown lengthening surgery takes depends on how many teeth are being worked on. Sometimes neighboring teeth will be included to help the overall reshaping process.
After applying local anesthesia, we’ll will simply remove a little gum tissue, but occasionally some bone might need to be taken out as well. Once the surgery is complete, the site will be rinsed with sterile salt water and the gums will receive stitches.
In addition to creating a prettier, more symmetrical smile, there are other benefits to crown lengthening:
You’ll need to use ice to keep down any swelling for a few hours; you may also receive a prescription pain reliever. The stitches will be removed in 7 to 10 days; until then, you’ll need to maintain a diet of soft foods and be very careful while brushing in that area.
If a new crown is needed, the gums will be allowed about three months to heal before it’s placed, otherwise the gums could shrink and expose the edges of the crown. Other cosmetic procedures, such as porcelain veneers, can be considered once healing is complete.