What Is Crown Lengthening?

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Crown lengthening is a procedure where gum and bone tissue are recontoured to expose more of the tooth crown, making teeth appear taller. This surgery is used to treat gum disease, fix a tooth that is broken below the gum line, or alter the appearance of teeth covered by too much gum tissue. Your dentist performs this minor surgery through the following steps:

  • Injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area.
  • Incision to the gum tissue so it can be pulled away for reshaping or repair to teeth.
  • The gum tissue is stitched together again.
  • The area is cleaned with salt water and has a dressing applied to it.

Your dentist will give you pain medication to take after this procedure as well as a prescription mouthwash and aftercare instructions. You should contact your dentist immediately if problems develop such as:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • The dressing becomes loose and falls off
  • Severe pain not relieved by pain killers
  • Bleeding that does not stop
  • Excess swelling or discharge

However, most of the time you should experience no problems and very little pain after this surgery. Just be sure to brush carefully around the area and keep a soft diet for a few days.