Crown lengthening is a dental procedure that involves the removal of some of the gum and support around a tooth in order to expose a tooth. The procedure can be performed on a single tooth to make room for a crown restoration, or on multiple teeth. This is done for functional and cosmetic purposes.
If you’re in need of crown lengthening, you may be wondering how long it takes. The short answer is: about an hour. The long answer is: about 3 months. Here’s an overview of the typical timeline for a crown lengthening procedure.
Crown Lengthening Timeline
The typical timeline for crown lengthening from start to finish is as follows:
- First Step: Initial Consultation. Every dental procedure begins with a consultation. Your dentist will discuss the procedure with you to ensure you fully understand what it entails. An evaluation will be performed to make sure you are an ideal candidate for the procedure. As long as all is well, you will schedule the procedure.
- A Few Weeks Later: The Procedure. The procedure itself can take about an hour, maybe less, maybe more, depending on your specific needs. The more teeth being treated, the longer the procedure will take. Sedation options are available if you would feel more comfortable.
- 7-10 Days Later: Follow Up. At this point you will return to your dentist for a follow up appointment to check your healing progress. If all looks well, your stitches will be removed.
- 2-3 Months Later: Healing is Complete. It can take a few months before the gum tissue completely heals after a crown lengthening procedure. Although the teeth treated will feel fine shortly after the procedure, more time is needed to allow full gum maturation which will yield a predictable result. At this point, if the purpose of the procedure was to prepare the tooth for a crown, the crown can now be safely placed.
How To Accelerate Healing and Avoid Setbacks
It is easy to feel impatient when it comes to healing or recovering from a procedure. You want to feel better as soon as possible and go back to life as usual. Here are some tips to speed up the healing process and avoid unnecessary delays.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions. Your dentist will provide you with instructions after your procedure. Follow these instructions as closely as possible for a faster recovery.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco products. Smoking and tobacco use will slow your recovery time significantly by decreasing blood flow to the area. Avoid these to accelerate your healing.
- Brush carefully. You will typically avoid the surgical site for the first 7 days and will usually be given an antiseptic rinse to keep the area clean. After this time, you’ll need to be careful to brush your teeth gently with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste following your crown lengthening procedure to avoid damaging or irritating the sensitive gum tissue. Again, your dentist will provide the specific instructions on care.
- Avoid alcohol. Drinking alcoholic beverages will hinder the healing process, making your recovery take longer.
- Be careful what/how you eat. It is best to avoid eating in the area for approximately the first week after treatment. You can typically go back to eating as you normally would after this time, but still be careful with foods that could damage your gums. Instead of biting into apples, hard-crusted breads, and crispy vegetables, cut them into bite size pieces you can chew with your back teeth away from the treated area. Once full maturation takes place, you will be able to eat and cleanse the area normally.
If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not you should do something or eat something after your crown lengthening procedure, ask your dentist.
Crown Lengthening at Progressive Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Crown lengthening is performed regularly at Progressive Periodontics and Implant Dentistry. Dr. Gordon is an expert in this field and can provide optimum care to achieve optimum results. Whether you need crown lengthening for dental health or cosmetic reasons, we can provide you with an individualized course of treatment.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.