Crown lengthening is a procedure which allows your restoring dentist to perform a better job in delivering your final restoration. Oftentimes, when a tooth is prepared for a crown, excess gum or bone causes the tooth in question to be very short in size. In such cases, the final crown may appear too small and often falls off because there is not enough tooth to retain the crown. This can be a very frustrating situation for you and your dentist. No one likes going back to the dentist office every other month because their crown fell off. This situation can be corrected with a procedure known as crown lengthening.
With a crown lengthening procedure, the gums and bone around the teeth are reshaped to make the tooth “longer” in size…hence the name crown lengthening. With a longer crown, your restoring dentist has more room to make the crown appear more natural. Additionally, because there is more tooth on which the crown can sit, the chances of the crown falling off are greatly diminished.
Another situation which often requires crown lengthening is when a tooth has very deep decay or significant fracture. If you have a cavity or crack that extends below the gums, a crown lengthening procedure will help in many ways. First and foremost, this procedure allows your restoring dentist to have better visibility and access to the cavity or crack in question. If your dentist cannot see what he or she is trying to repair, there is a good chance that something will be missed and a poor quality restoration will result. A second benefit of the crown lengthening procedure is improved future health of the tooth following its deep restoration. If a deep restoration is repaired with metal or plastic filling material in the absence of a crown lengthening procedure, the edge of the restoration may end up too close to the supporting bone. The body does not like having this foreign material so close to the supporting bone of the teeth and will actually begin to dissolve bone away from the edge of the filling. This results in a tender, inflamed area of the gums which bleeds very easily. If left untreated, the affected area may continue to get worse and progress to a form of gum disease known as periodontitis.
Fortunately, these situations are easily treated by crown lengthening. The procedure typically lasts an hour in most situations and has a quick recovery time. The procedure is accomplished with simple local anesthetic, just like when you get a filling on a tooth. For more information about crown lengthening procedures, please call Dr. Holtzclaw and the Lone Star Periodontics team at 512-453-1600 to schedule a consultation appointment.
Lone Star Periodontics & Dental Implants. Dan Holtzclaw, DDS, MS. Board certified periodontist and dental implant surgeon. 711 W. 38th Street, Suite G5. Austin, TX 78705. 512-453-1600