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Elena C Puig, DMD, PAAestheic & Restorative Dentistry   •   Cosmetic Dentistry-Orlando, FL
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Gum Contouring vs Crown Lengthening

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, “I have a gummy smile,” or “My teeth are too short?” If “yes” is your answer, and you do not like what you see, help is available to address your teeth and gum issues. Crown lengthening or gum contouring are treatments that improve how your teeth and gums look. When you choose Dynamic Smile Design for crown lengthening or gum contouring, you can get a smile that you will be happy to display.

Gum Contouring and Crown Lengthening Can Improve Oral and Physical Health

Gum contouring and crown lengthening not only improve your teeth aesthetically but can also improve your oral health and physical health. Periodontal disease infects the gums and is often the result of inadequate brushing and flossing. Plaque builds up on the teeth quickly, becomes hard, and increases the risk for periodontal disease. Untreated periodontal disease can cause bleeding gums, problems with eating, and tooth loss. Studies show that individuals with periodontal disease are at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Malformed or damaged gum tissue can contribute to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Restructuring the gums makes it easier to address tooth decay and can eliminate loose spots and pockets that make the teeth and gum susceptible to bacteria and infections.

Gum Contouring

Your teeth may appear larger or longer due to receding gums or a small jaw. How you brush your teeth, smoking, and even taking some medications can lead to a receding gum line. Gum contouring can treat a receding gum line to give your teeth a shorter appearance and straighten your gum line to provide you with a more attractive smile. Gum contouring can also make it easier to treat tooth issues.

What Does Gum Contouring Involve?

The contouring process may require reshaping or removing part of the gum. To show you how much gum tissue requires removal or reshaping, Dr. Elena C. Puig and her team will draw a line on your gum using a special pen. She may also recommend removing a portion of bone near a tooth’s roots to achieve a better result. Tools for gum contouring treatment includes a laser and scalpel. Local anesthesia and a sedative helps keep patients comfortable during the procedure.

What to Expect During Gum Contouring Recovery

After your gum contouring treatment, our team will give you instructions to help you recover successfully. Healing can take days or a few weeks. Dr. Puig may recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain, but not aspirin since it can cause bleeding. Immediately after surgery, you will want to avoid foods that can irritate the gums, including nuts, seeds, and spicy foods. Soft and cool vegetables, eggs, pasta, and ice cream will feel soothing to your gums. Follow our team’s instructions for brushing your teeth and caring for your gums during the recovery period.

Crown Lengthening

When too much gum tissue leaves your teeth looking short or small, giving you a “gummy smile,” crown lengthening may be the solution. The goal of crown lengthening is to expose more of a tooth. Crown lengthening can help improve your smile, and it may also be a solution when there is tooth damage or decay below the gum line or if you need a crown or bridge. By lengthening the crown, Dr. Puig can expose the tooth for repair.

What Does Crown Lengthening Involve?

Our team determines the type of crown lengthening treatment you will require based on the condition of your teeth. Assessing your tooth’s condition includes evaluating the ratio of the crown to root, the root’s appearance, bone loss, and the tooth’s position. Whether you require restorative dentistry such as a filling or cap is also a factor. Dr. Puig and her team can achieve crown lengthening by using one of the following surgical procedures: gingivectomy, extrusion, or apically repositioned flap surgery.

Gingivectomy involves removing diseased gum tissue or reshaping gum tissue to eliminate pockets between the teeth and gums. Extrusion consists of moving and adjusting a tooth on the gum line and then stabilizing it by anchoring it to adjacent teeth with a splint or wire. During apically repositioned flap surgery, Dr. Puig creates a flap of tissue by making an incision in the gum. The flap allows for cutting away extra tissue and bone, if necessary, to expose the tooth. To hold the flap in place, Dr. Puig positions and stitches the flap toward the tooth’s root.

Like the surgery for gum contouring, a scalpel and laser are also tools used in crown lengthening surgery. Local anesthesia and a sedative provide comfort during the surgery. The time required for the surgery depends on the extent of the treatment, including whether several teeth need treatment or if bone removal is required.

What to Expect After Crown Lengthening Recovery

The goal after surgery is to give your gums a chance to heal. Choose healthy and soft foods that do not stick to the teeth and gums. Hard foods like nuts can irritate your gums and slow down the healing process. Dr. Puig may prescribe acetaminophen and ibuprofen to reduce swelling and advise you of how to brush and practice good oral hygiene during the recovery period. As the swelling goes down, you will notice that your gums will shrink. Depending on the area of your mouth where we perform the crown lengthening procedure, complete healing may take six weeks to several months. Dr. Puig and the team can give you an idea of how long your recovery will take.

Schedule a Consultation to Learn More

If you require gum contouring or crown lengthening for cosmetic or health reasons, Schedule an appointment with us today. We will explain the procedures carefully, answer your questions and tell you how to prepare. People appreciate the compassionate and professional care our team provides. Contact us and schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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