A crown lengthening procedure is done to increase the length of the clinical crown of your tooth. It is necessary if you have fractured your tooth and the fracture line is below the gum level, if you have decay beneath the level of your gum, or if a tooth has not erupted fully and the clinical crown is short. Your dentist will probably place a crown/cap on this tooth after we have finished our procedure.
Usually when one of the above occurs, the fracture line or decay is not just below the gum level, it is also close to the bone which holds your tooth in place. This is a problem because if a crown is placed on your tooth and the margin of that crown is too close to the bone, your body will not tolerate the intrusion of the crown into this space. Research has shown us that there must be a certain amount of space between the bone and the margin of the crown/cap. This space is necessary so there will be enough room for your gum tissue to attach. If we do not leave enough space and the crown is too close to the bone, an inflammatory process will begin in the bone. We would like to avoid this. Therefore, our goal is to make sure that there is enough space between your bone and the crown that will be placed in this area.
This procedure is done under local anesthetic freezing. The gum tissue is gently lifted back from the tooth and the bone to expose the fracture line or decay area. The bone is then reshaped until there is enough space between the fracture line and the bone. The gum is replaced and sutured to keep the gum tight to the bone. The fracture line or decay is now above the gum and far enough away from the bone.
A dressing is placed over the area to protect it. You will be asked to return in 10-14 days so we can remove the dressing and check to see that the area is healing well.
The sutures (stitches) that we use will dissolve in about 10 – 14 days. We will check the area about 4 weeks after the dressing has been removed to check for final healing.
Your new crown can be placed approximately 6 weeks after the crown lengthening procedure.
There is no pain while this procedure is being done because the area is frozen (local anaesthesia). There may be some pain when the anaesthetic wears off.