Seeing the dentist for something as simple as a sensitive tooth can result in the discovery of more decay or damage than you expected. A dental crown is one of the quickest ways to solve these problems when a simple filling procedure isn’t enough. But a crown alone may not entirely solve your dental issues. This can result in your dentist recommending a crown lengthening procedure before your crowns are installed or while they’re being touched up. Crown lengthening is an important procedure that helps contour the gum tissue around the crown. Exposing a little more of the natural tooth material can help you in a number of ways, so give this procedure your full consideration if it’s recommended to you.
What is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a procedure involving the gum tissue primarily. In some cases, the bone of the tooth roots or jaw may need advanced shaping as well. Only the dentist can determine how much work will be needed for each case. As much healthy tissue as possible will be left in place, but some amount of material must be removed to create more space for the edges of a crown to fit tightly against the tooth. Without crown lengthening, there’s a higher chance of damage to the crown from normal behavior like chewing. While you may want to keep as much of your gum tissue as possible, there can be some benefits to removing it in small amounts in certain cases.
1. Dealing with Decay
The primary reason to choose crown lengthening is to deal with tooth decay that’s below the surface. If the gum tissue is carefully removed in limited amounts, decayed parts of the tooth’s roots can be treated before the crown is added. This ensures there is no continuing pain issue and reduces the chance of tooth loss in the near future. Don’t let decay lie hidden under the gum edges when crown lengthening can easily address it.
2. Putting a Stop to Sensitivity
Teeth that are highly sensitive despite treatments like drilling and filling any cavities may need the coverage of a crown. These materials cover up any sensitive surfaces or exposed nerves, but they may not help with sensitivity arising from the gum tissue. This is where crown lengthening comes in. Removing the sensitive or damaged gum tissue ensures that the crown fully solves the sensitivity issue, leaving you free from pain again.
3. Treating Gum Disease
Crown lengthening and gum contouring in general are often used to correct a gummy smile. This can occur due to the overgrowth of the gum tissue in response to the early stages of gum disease. As part of a periodontal treatment plan, crown lengthening helps restore the natural gum line so food particles and tooth plaque aren’t trapped below the surface where it’s harder to remove. Whether you have been diagnosed with gum disease or just suspect you might have gum overgrowth, crown lengthening is a good way to deal with unnecessary tissue.
4. Improving Oral Hygiene
Taking care of a smile with an excess of gum tissue isn’t always easy. If the dentist identifies a lot of food material is getting stuck between the gum tissue and the teeth, they may suggest a treatment like crown lengthening before adding a crown. Without this shaping effort, it’s all too easy for brushing and flossing to fail to keep your dental hygiene level high enough. If you notice a lot of decay around certain teeth, ask your dentist about the gum tissue in that area. They can easily and quickly adjust the edges of the gums with crown lengthening and other related contouring procedures.
5. Increasing Success Rate of Crowns
Above all else, crown lengthening is used to increase the chances of success when adding a crown. Crowns are often used to cover teeth that are badly damaged due to trauma or decay. Once the damaged part of the tooth is removed to stabilize it, what’s left may not support the size of a full crown or cap. Lengthening for crown application reveals more of the tooth’s sides so the crown has something for a firm attachment. If your dentist says that you need this lengthening process, there’s a higher chance of failure with the crown if you turn down this preparation step. Enjoy a longer lifespan and fewer visits for crown repairs by going through crown lengthening first when it’s needed.
Discuss your dental needs with us here at Camelot Dental Group. Before we put on a crown, we’ll let you know if we recommend any additional procedures like crown lengthening to improve your chances of success. Plan a complete restoration of your smile with crowns and more from our supportive team of dental experts.