Crown Lengthening

Panama City Smiles : Crown Lengthening in Panama City, FL

Do you have a “gummy” smile? Do one or more of your teeth look too small or too short? In reality, your teeth may actually be the proper length, but excessive gum tissue is covering them up. In this situation, Dr. Anish Patel may recommend a crown lengthening procedure, also known as a gum lift. This procedure can increase the height or size of the crown, the portion of the tooth that is visible above the gum line.

Another reason crown lengthening may be needed is to prepare for restorative or cosmetic dental work. If you have insufficient tooth structure, or your tooth is decayed or is broken below the gumline, crown lengthening exposes more of the tooth so it can be restored with a prosthetic crown or a bridge. (You need to have enough tooth structure to anchor the restoration in place.)


The Crown Lengthening Procedure

Crown lengthening is a minor surgical procedure in which excess gum and (sometimes) bone tissue are removed and/or reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This may be done on one tooth to prepare for a prosthetic restoration or on a series of teeth to improve the look of a gummy smile. The surgery is performed using local anesthetics and possibly a sedative, and usually takes less than one hour. The crown lengthening procedure is very precise and does not negatively affect neighboring teeth in any way. Once the desired length or size of tooth structure has been exposed, the gingiva (gum tissue) is secured with sutures and sterile bandages.

After a Crown Lengthening Procedure

It is very important that you follow the specific instructions we give you after your procedure. These instructions will minimize your discomfort, speed the healing process, and prevent infection or other complications.

Some general guidelines:

  • Take prescription or over-the-counter pain medication as directed.
  • Take all antibiotics that are given to you as directed, until they are gone.
  • Apply a cold compress or an ice pack wrapped in a towel to reduce facial swelling.
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold are normal.
  • Eat a soft diet, and avoid chewing in the affected area.
  • Use a saltwater rinse, or a mouthwash if recommended, to gently rinse your mouth.
  • Do not vigorously rinse your mouth until you have healed.
  • Report any excessive pain or bleeding to our office immediately.

The healing period usually lasts one to two weeks. You will return to Panama City Smiles for a follow-up appointment to check the healing progress.

When Healing is Complete

When you have healed from a gum lift to lengthen your teeth and improve your smile, you can start brushing and flossing as usual. Enjoy your new smile!

If your crown lengthening procedure was in preparation for a restoration or a cosmetic procedure, we will proceed with the next step! The crown lengthening will improve the fit of your restoration and increase accessibility for good oral hygiene.

Do You Need Crown Lengthening?

If you have been self-conscious about your gummy smile, or if Dr. Patel has recommended crown lengthening to ensure the success of a restorative or cosmetic procedure, contact Panama City Smiles today. You can use our online form or call (850) 588-0185.