All Smiles Dental in New York City is dedicated to giving you the smile that you want, and the smile that you deserve. A consultation with us is a guaranteed good experience, with one-on-one interaction with experts in the field of periodontistry. Tribeca is the premier cosmetic dentistry in NYC, giving you a smile that can outshine the city lights, and for you, that may start with crown lengthening.

What is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that is done to expose more of your tooth and remove excess tissue from the gum. It is a minor and routine procedure but can make a huge difference in your appearance, let alone the function of your crown. Crown lengthening can be necessary if there isn’t enough of the tooth in place to hold the crown on its own. Teeth that are broken or affected by tooth decay may prohibit a crown from firmly attaching.

Crown lengthening reduces gum tissue and shaves down bone when necessary, so more of the tooth is above the gum’s surface. A properly fitted crown allows for better oral hygiene and comfort. Cosmetically speaking, this procedure can also fix a “gummy smile,” or a smile where there is excess gum tissue covering a lot of the bottom half of the teeth, making your teeth look short. With crown lengthening, we can remove that tissue, giving you a larger, more conventionally attractive smile.

Fix Your Gummy Smile

If you’re someone who may be self-conscious about their gummy smile, All Smiles Dental is here to help! Provided that your personal oral care is in good health, and your teeth are largely covered by gums, are uneven, or appear too small for the patient’s face, you could likely benefit from this procedure. This procedure is also beneficial if you need a crown, bridge, or other restoration, but don’t have enough tooth structure to support it. Crown lengthening is often the perfect complement to a smile makeover, in which a patient strives to obtain his or her ideal smile. You may have straight, white, and otherwise perfect teeth, but if too much gum tissue is covering the teeth, or if the gum line is uneven, it will distract from the rest of the good qualities of your smile. In that situation, crown lengthening is the ideal treatment for you.

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What to Expect

Crown lengthening is an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home as soon as it’s done! The duration of the surgery varies depending on the number of teeth needed in the procedure, and how much soft tissue and bone need to be removed. If you have any temporary crowns, your periodontist may have to remove it before the procedure and will replace it afterward. You’ll most likely receive local anesthesia, and may be given a sedative as well. The periodontist cuts the gums to pull them away from the teeth, exposing the roots and bone. In some cases, only the gum tissue needs to be removed. The surgeon then washes the surgical area with salt water before suturing. They suture the gums back together, sometimes placing a bandage over the area for additional protection. There will be some pain to come after the local anesthesia wears off, so your periodontist will prescribe painkillers when the surgery is complete. Talk to your periodontist about the possible risks of this procedure as well!

Recovery Time

The recovery time for this procedure usually takes about three months. However, you’ll be able to resume normal functions as your gums heal. You only need to avoid strenuous activity for the first two to three days. A physically demanding job, heavy lifting, and heavy exertion could inhibit the healing process and cause more bleeding. Your periodontist will give you a list of aftercare instructions following the procedure, and make you follow their instructions. You’ll be told to take over the counter painkillers or ibuprofen if you’re not given a prescription for painkillers and make sure you take those at regular intervals. Using a pack on your face for the first few hours after the procedure can reduce swelling. Alternate use of the ice pack, following 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. You may switch to moist heat a couple days after surgery.

Eating After the Procedure

Make sure to avoid hot foods or rinsing your mouth for the first twenty-four hours after the procedure, as that can make the bleeding worse. If bleeding continues, use a moistened tea bag or moistened gauze to apply slight pressure to the area for 20 to 30 minutes. Leave the surgery dressings in your mouth for seven to 14 days after the procedure. Make sure you brush carefully. Gently brush only your biting surfaces where the dressing has been applied. Brush and floss normally in other areas. Chew on the opposite side of your mouth from the dressing. Wear your stent or denture, and depending on what you’re given, blood can pool in the mouth if it’s removed; rinse with lukewarm saltwater or Chlorhexidine rinse without removing the stent or denture. After 24 hours, you may wear it as desired. Avoid the surgical area when you eat. Also, don’t eat anything hard, brittle, acidic, spicy, sticky, or highly seasoned. Avoid nuts and small seeds. Drink plenty of fluids. Refrain from drinking until after your post-op appointment. Refrain from smoking for the first seven to 10 days or longer. Avoid using straws and playing with the surgical site with your tongue or finger. Don’t pull down your lip to check the site, as the pressure can cause damage.

Improve Your Smile in NYC

If you have any more procedural questions, contact our office, or if you have any financing questions, you can find what you’re looking for here. If you’re looking for the best, most thorough cosmetic dentistry in New York, come to All Smiles Dental, and we’ll make sure to leave you smiling!

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