Do you think your smile looks “gummy”? A “gummy” smile means the ratio of gum tissue to teeth is uneven, so much that your teeth look much shorter and smaller, while your gums are more visible when you smile.
A “gummy” smile can affect your self-esteem, causing you to feel less confident in your smile. But the good news is, you don’t have to feel this way much longer. A periodontist in Etobicoke may recommend a crown lengthening procedure. This will expose more visible surfaces of the teeth, and make your smile appear even.
Do you want to fix your smile? If you’re curious about crown lengthening, our periodontists in Etobicoke are here to help. In this article, we’ll explain the crown lengthening procedure, and help you get ready.
What is crown lengthening?
Have you noticed that your teeth look shorter than they could me, and you have more “gums” when you smile? You can certainly benefit from crown lengthening in Etobicoke.
Crown lengthening is a procedure performed by periodontists to achieve a healthy gum-to-tooth ratio in your smile. During the procedure, your periodontist will remove excess gum tissue and recontour the gum line—and sometimes even the bone—to increase the visible surface of the teeth or their height. After a crown lengthening procedure, your smile will appear more balanced and even.
Who needs crown lengthening?
There are many reasons that you may need a crown lengthening procedure to enhance your smile. Along with a “gummy” smile, here are other ways you can benefit from a healthy and balanced gum-to-tooth ratio:
1. Remove excess gum tissue
Fixing a “gummy” smile is the most common reason for crown lengthening. A “gummy” smile is caused by excess gum tissue, which reduces the visible surface of the teeth. Through crown lengthening, your periodontist can contour the gum line and make the teeth and gums proportional.
In addition to aesthetic benefits, removing excess gum tissue can also lower your risk for gum disease.
2. Help treat tooth decay
Severe tooth decay can be hard to treat, especially when the decay is located beneath the gum line. Your periodontist will recommend crown lengthening to access the decayed part of the tooth.
Once they’ve treated the decay, your periodontist will restore your original gum line. They may also maintain the results of the previous crown lengthening procedure to better fit a tooth restoration, such as a dental crown. In this case, crown lengthening will help you prepare for a tooth restoration that protects a damaged tooth in the long run.
3. Broken teeth at the gumline
Did you chip or break your teeth at the gum line? Dental trauma and injury can cause this. To treat it, your periodontist can perform crown lengthening.
In this case, crown lengthening will allow your periodontist to expose and access the damaged teeth. Then, they can place a dental crown to hold the fragments together and attach the crown firmly to the adjacent teeth.
Without crown lengthening, your only option would be extraction and replacing the damaged teeth. Now, your periodontist can treat and preserve your natural teeth as much as possible.
The Crown Lengthening Procedure
Earlier, you learned all about what crown lengthening can treat. Now, it’s time to find out how. Your periodontist in Etobicoke will take a number of steps to reduce excess gum tissue:
During your first visit to your periodontist in Etobicoke, they will review your dental and medical history, take x-rays, and examine your teeth and gums. Then, they will develop a treatment plan outlining the amount of excess tissue to be removed and the ideal ratio of gums to teeth.
2. Temporary crown
Before your crown lengthening procedure, your periodontist may fit you with a temporary crown. If you’re undergoing crown lengthening to treat broken or decayed teeth, your periodontist will take this step to protect the treatment area and prevent further damage.
3. Pre-op preparation
Typically, crown lengthening is performed under local anesthesia. Your periodontist will make sure that you are ready, and fully understand the post-op instructions, recovery, and further treatments required.
4. Crown lengthening
The actual crown lengthening procedure will then begin. Your periodontist will remove any temporary crowns, then start removing soft tissue. Depending on your needs, they may also contour the bone underneath. Typically, the procedure takes an hour, although it can take longer depending on the amount of tissue removed and if the bone needs reshaping.
5. Closing and recovery
After the excess gum tissue is removed, your periodontist will clean the area with saltwater, then suture the gums back. They will place a dressing over the surgical site to protect it.
How long does it take to recover from a crown lengthening procedure?
It typically takes three months to heal from a crown lengthening procedure, although it may take longer depending on the amount of excess tissue, as well as whether the procedure was performed to treat tooth decay or broken teeth.
Your periodontist will provide you with post-op instructions that you will need to follow in order to avoid infections and ensure successful results. Make sure to:
- Take medications as prescribed
- Apply an ice pack to your face near the treatment area for a few hours to reduce the swelling
- Avoid hot foods for the first 24 hours
- Don’t rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours
- Leave the dressing in your mouth for 7 to 14 days, as instructed by your periodontist
- Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing, but avoid the treatment area
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Don’t prod the surgical site and don’t use a straw until healed
- Avoid strenuous activity for at least 48 to 72 hours
You may also experience some bleeding after the crown lengthening procedure. As well, your teeth may feel sensitive to heat and cold. But note that these symptoms are normal, and will subside with normal recovery.
Visit Our Periodontists in Etobicoke for Crown Lengthening
Are you ready to get started with improving your smile? If you have excess gum tissue or you’re experiencing tooth decay beneath the gum line, crown lengthening is the perfect first step. It’s a fast and simple procedure that allows our periodontists in Etobicoke to enhance your smile, both aesthetically and in terms of oral health.
And the best part? Our periodontists at Periodontal Associates are here for you at every step of the way. We’ll start with crown lengthening to address a “gummy smile” and restore your confidence, then we’ll combine it with other essential treatments that prevent gum disease, and keep your gums, teeth, and jawbone healthy.
Feeling shy about how much gum your smile shows, or worried about tooth decay beneath the gum line? Visit our periodontists in Etobicoke today to learn how crown lengthening can help.