One of the challenges dental patients face is their gummy smiles. They are hesitant to smile widely as they are embarrassed by their short teeth and prominent gums.

One of the effective treatments dentists perform to correct a gummy smile is crown lengthening. Patients who are unfamiliar with this dental surgery frequently inquire about how painful crown lengthening is.

Crown lengthening is painless because your dentist will use anesthetic and sedatives to make the process as comfortable as possible – no need to be afraid.

After the procedure, you may have some tingling and bleeding, but that’s all there is to it. Your dentist will advise you to apply ice to the area immediately after surgery to reduce swelling.

When the anesthetic and sedatives wear off, your dentist will prescribe pain medications to help you manage the pain, albeit will be mild at this time.

Your gums, teeth, and smile may benefit from a crown lengthening operation. If you’re still on the fence, have a look at the facts below for some peace of mind.

gummy smile crown lengthening

 

Why Crown Lengthening Procedure Is Important

Crown lengthening is a procedure that involves removing soft tissue and sometimes bone to increase the exposure of teeth. Then, by moving the gums, the treatment lengthens the crowns.

This dental crown lengthening technique is very straightforward as it only adjusts the gum closer to the root.

gummy smile

Purpose of Crown Lengthening

Sometimes crown lengthening is part of the treatment to restore a single tooth. This is necessary if the part of the tooth is missing or you have extensive tooth decay. Crown lengthening is a solution to lower the gum and expose the required amount of exposed tooth.

In other cases, crown lengthening is part of a cosmetic dental treatment plan. People opt to have crown lengthening procedures to alter their “gummy smile” and create a more visually appealing smile. And the ultimate goal of dental crown lengthening is to make your gum line and teeth look more symmetrical.

 

How is the crown lengthening procedure done?

The procedure commences by administering a local anesthetic to numb the area.

conscious sedation by Dr. Reem Kidess

Patients perceive that dental crown lengthening is painful despite anesthetics. Since the procedure involves cutting into your gums, exposing the root of your teeth and jaw bone, and bleeding, be reassured that the dentist will prescribe sedatives for those with increased dental anxiety.

Also, the duration of the process varies depending on the number of teeth involved.

Once the procedure is done, your gum will be cleansed thoroughly and stitched.

 

Is Crown Lengthening Procedure Painful?

The stitching may appear excruciating because the operation involves cutting into your gum, exposing the root of your teeth and bone, and bleeding.

For patients with heightened pain worries, the dentist will prescribe sedatives.

It takes a few months for complete healing of the soft tissue and gums. But right after surgery, your dentist will recommend applying a cold compress on the area to prevent swelling.

When anesthesia and sedatives wear off, your dentist will prescribe pain relievers to help you cope with pain, but pain at this time is minimal.

 

Risk and Side Effects of Crown Lengthening

Infections are always a possibility with any surgical operation, but rare with crown lengthening.

To avoid complications, your practitioner will provide you with detailed instructions prior to and after the treatment.

Crown lengthening, unlike other surgical treatments, may cause slight bleeding and sensitivity to certain foods and extreme temperatures.

You may feel that a tooth is loose, so be cautious and don’t touch it too often to avoid prolonging the healing process.

The post-care guideline below will help you recover quickly.

 

Crown Lengthening Recovery Time and Post-Operative Care Instructions

Each patient’s recovery is different, but in general, the complete healing time is 6 to 8 weeks

Check the tips below to help you prevent infection and pain and recover quickly from your crown lengthening procedure:

  • Attend your follow-up appointments seven to ten days after the treatment.
  • Take prescribed antibiotics and painkillers prescribed by your doctor.
  • You can apply an ice pack or cold compress for the first hours after surgery to help with the pain and swelling.
  • Practice basic dental hygiene during this time but with extra care. Use prescribed mouthwash only.
  • Flossing is not advisable on the treated part because your gums are sensitive and may cause bleeding. Floss according to your dentists’ instructions.
  • Soft diet after the treatment. Avoid extreme cold, hot, spicy, and hard foods. Chew on the opposite side of the treated site..
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.

 

Final Thoughts

Whether you need to have a crown lengthening procedure due to dental issues or aesthetic concerns like a gummy smile, you should discuss it with your dentist.

Both the appearance and functionality of your smile can be improved with a crown lengthening procedure.

Dr. Reem Kidess performing dental procedure on patient

For more information on crown lengthening, please contact our Scottsdale dental office and book a consultation with Dr. Kidess.