If you have what is known as a “gummy smile” (the appearance of excess gums), your confidence may benefit from crown lengthening. Oftentimes, people who have prominent gingiva display are less likely to smile, laugh, and talk in public. Some are embarrassed by excess gums. A simple procedure such as crown lengthening can help those people to feel less anxious about their mouth in public settings.
What is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a procedure performed by a dental professional. Most often this procedure is performed by a cosmetic dentist or periodontist. The procedure sometimes uses local anesthesia and can be done on an outpatient basis. The cosmetic dentist will perform crown lengthening on one or more teeth to achieve the desired results.
The excess portion of gum will be removed or cut away from the teeth to display more of the tooth structure. This procedure can and is performed for cosmetic reasons and is also used to help affix a crown to a broken tooth. The dentist is able to expose the tooth structure under the gums so that he can affix the crown to it correctly.
Who is a Candidate for Crown Lengthening?
For those who feel they have a “gummy smile”, they may be candidates for this simple procedure. Candidates for crown lengthening will need to have a healthy tooth structure below or under the gum line. Typically, dental x-rays will help the dentist to access the health of the tooth structures that cannot be seen due to the gingiva. You will also need to have relatively healthy gums in order to have this procedure conducted. If you currently have a gum infection or gum disease, you will need to remedy them prior to having the surgery performed. Just like with most other dental procedures, it is important that you do not have any active infections. Active infections will likely be exacerbated by dental work and procedures.
Downtime after Crown Lengthening
Typically the downtime after a crown lengthening procedure will be very short. You may want to take a day off from work or school activities after the procedure is performed due to swelling and some post-procedure bleeding. The downtime will mostly depend upon on home many teeth were worked on that day. For some, the downtime is equivalent to having a filling.
Your dentist or periodontist, depending on the extent of crown lengthening you had performed, will likely only prescribe non-narcotic pain relievers. You may benefit from taking some over-the-counter analgesics to help with the mild pain and swelling. Your dentist will advise you on what type of diet to follow after the procedure as well. You will likely not be advised to eat or drink for at least a few hours after the procedure and then only to consume soft and bland foods.
Benefits of Crown Lengthening to Boost Confidence
If you are embarrassed by your smile due to excess display of gums, you will likely benefit immensely from this type of procedure. This simple procedure can remove the excess gums and provide you with a much more natural looking smile. Often, people who have a “gummy smile” only show a fraction of the tooth structure due to the excess gingiva display. After the procedure is performed a natural ratio of teeth and gum will be exposed. You will likely smile and laugh more in public without the fear of someone noticing your smile negatively.
Speak with your dentist about crown lengthening if you feel like your confidence would be boosted by it. Your dentist can relate to you if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Sometimes we are very critical of ourselves when we should not be. Your dentist will be able to tell you if there is enough excess gums to be removed safely to provide you with the smile you desire.