Tooth lengthening or tooth enlargement may also be referred to as crown lengthening. Extra gum tissue and bone tissue is removed to expose more of the tooth structure from beneath the gums. There are two general reasons this procedure may be done:
Tooth lengthening may be done before further restoring the tooth if:
Before we can restore teeth with a filling, crown, bridge, or veneer, we need to remove some tissue so the tooth can be accessed and restored.
The procedure is usually done under local anesthetic. Any existing dental crowns are removed and replaced following the procedure.
One tooth, multiple teeth, or an entire gumline can be treated in a single procedure. Even if only one tooth needs lengthening, the teeth beside it may also be treated to provide more even reshaping.
The gums are peeled back and some of the bone surrounding the teeth is removed. The bone is reshaped so that it follows the regular bone outline.
When the dentist is satisfied with the amount of tooth exposed, the area is cleaned with saline water and the gums are then stitched back into place.
After the area has healed and when the sutures are removed, more of the tooth is visible and can now be restored.
Dental crown lengthening is a relatively simple, painless procedure. However, like all surgeries, there are risks. You may have bleeding or develop an infection following the surgery.
Because more of the tooth is exposed, they may initially appear very long. You may also develop sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. This will go away once the tooth is restored with a crown.
Removing bone from around the tooth may cause a tooth to loosen. If a tooth is lost, it may be difficult to replace it with an implant.
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