Can You Recover Your Smile by Lengthening Your Crowns?
Are you particularly self-conscious about your smile? You may feel as if the gums are too visible whenever you laugh, and you may inadvertently raise your hand in front of your mouth to shield this. If it's really getting you down and you feel that you have to do something about it, you may be a candidate for crown lengthening. What is involved, and is it for you?
During this type of procedure, the dentist attaches a crown on top of existing teeth while modifying the gum tissue and potentially the bone to come up with a more aesthetically pleasing smile. A crown is effectively a cap that is fitted on top of a natural tooth to help with structure, appearance and functionality. It is often used when the host tooth is worn down or may be misshapen and in the event of a dental implant. It must always be attached firmly to an existing tooth, and your dentist will have to prepare the area first before introducing the crown.
To begin with, the specialist will take a number of x-rays so that they can clearly see what they have to work with and will try to get the entire procedure done in one sitting. This is usually done as an outpatient procedure and should not take too long, although you may need to have a temporary crown fitted in the interim while the permanent solution is made.
Typically, you will receive local anaesthesia to numb everything up nicely before the periodontist modifies your gum tissue, by pulling it away from the teeth. This allows them to access and modify the bone structure beneath if necessary. Once they had done that, they may use tiny sutures to reattach the gums, having washed out the area first with a special disinfectant.
You may experience some swelling once the anaesthetic wears off, and this is quite normal. You can take some over-the-counter medication to help with any pain and use an ice pack on and off for a few hours. You should avoid eating any particularly hot food and try to avoid touching the area if you can help it. Try to stick to a soft food diet for a few days and drink plenty of fluids but refrain from alcohol until everything has cleared up.
Crown lengthening is a very commonplace procedure that is often done in cases like yours. You can expect everything to go smoothly and will recover in due course, and you can look forward to a smile to be proud of once again.