For some patients, excessive gum tissue may cover the majority of their teeth, leading to complications when certain restorative procedures, such as a dental crown, are needed to repair a tooth. When there is not an adequate amount of tooth exposed above the gum line, a crown lengthening procedure may be recommended. Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure designed to remove gum or bone tissue to expose more of the tooth. This procedure can be performed safely by Dr. Navid Baradarian at our New York, NY, dental practice to allow for a secure and successful dental crown placement.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Baradarian will perform a detailed examination of your teeth and gums with x-ray technology and review your medical history to determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure. To ensure a successful surgery, certain preparatory procedures may be recommended, such as a dental cleaning and temporary crown.
During the crown lengthening procedure, anesthesia is provided for optimal comfort. We provide nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation in addition to local anesthesia. For patients who may require stronger sedation methods, we can bring in an anesthesiologist to administer and monitor intravenous (IV) sedation.
Once you are comfortable, Dr. Baradarian will make an incision in the gum line to gently lift and pull the gums away from the teeth. He will either remove the excess tissue or stitch it together higher up on the tooth. In cases where there is excess bone tissue, Dr. Baradarian will gently reshape the base of the tooth before securing the gum tissue in place. The overall length of the procedure will depend on the amount of tissue being removed and whether any neighboring teeth are involved. In most cases, crown lengthening can generally be completed in one to two hours. Once the procedure has been completed, Dr. Baradarian can apply any necessary bandages to protect the area.
After the procedure, you will be given detailed postoperative instructions to follow to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. Seven to 10 days following the procedure, you will return to our office to have any stitches removed and for Dr. Baradarian to monitor you for any signs of infection. Four to six weeks later, you will return for an additional follow-up visit for Dr. Baradarian to evaluate your final results.
The overall recovery generally takes about three months before a dental crown can be placed. If the dental crown is placed too soon, it could affect your recovery and cause functional and aesthetic issues. Throughout your recovery, you may experience minor bleeding and sensitivity as the tooth roots are exposed, but this will subside once the dental crown is in place.
Following a crown lengthening procedure, patients may be at risk of infection. Complications could include:
Increased, chronic pain
Visible signs of infection (pus, discharge)
Increased swelling and redness around the area
Swollen lymph nodes (tender lumps below your jaw or in your neck)
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or if your bandages fall off, you should contact our office as soon as possible.