Crown lengthening and shortening is a safe and effective procedure commonly performed for patients who have a “gummy smile”, or a smile that has an imbalanced ratio of gums to teeth. The procedure involves removing small amounts of gum and bone around the teeth to sculpt the gum line, which creates a more even overall appearance and reduces your risk of developing infections.

Crown lengthening and shortening can also be performed to address underlying health issues, and in conjunction with other procedures. For example, a crown lengthening and shortening may be performed to increase visibility, which allows your periodontist to more effectively remove calculus and smooth the teeth’s roots (scaling and root planing). Crown lengthening and shortening can also be used to repair damaged teeth and/or to improve the structural integrity of a dental crown.

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Benefits of Crown Lengthening

Patients who have crown lengthening and shortening performed will benefit in the following ways:

  • Wider, more symmetrical smile
  • Improved aesthetic appearance results in increased self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of tooth decay
  • Surgery is fast (typically 60 minutes) and relatively painless
  • Results are often permanent, which means touch-ups will not be required
  • Improved structural integrity of dental crown (when applicable)

The Crown Lengthening Procedure

An initial consultation and general examination will be necessary to determine if crown lengthening and shortening is the right treatment option for you. During this visit, we will review your health history, discuss your oral health concerns and goals, and examine your teeth, gums, and cheeks to determine your overall health and identify any underlying issues. Following this examination, we will explain available treatment options and answer any questions you have.

If it is determined that crown lengthening and shortening is necessary, your follow-up appointment will begin with administration of a local anesthetic and/or sedation. Next, incisions are made in the soft tissue at your gum line to separate your gums from your teeth, allowing access to the roots and bone. Once this access is available, small amounts of tissue are removed and the area (and oftentimes surrounding teeth) is contoured and/or reduced to create an even appearance. If this procedure is being done to create adequate space for a crown, the crown may be placed now or at a future appointment.

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Aftercare Following Crown Lengthening

Following a crown lengthening or shortening procedure, it is common to experience sensitivity and swelling, but this can typically be managed using ice packs and over the counter pain relieving medication. If you are prescribed pain-relieving medication and/or antibiotics, it is essential to follow the recommended dose until the prescription runs out. One of the most important aftercare instructions to follow is sticking to a soft food diet and avoid chewing in the procedural area following the procedure, slowly reintroducing harder foods as your healing process progresses.

Once you have fully recovered, you can return to your normal diet and self-care practices, however it is important to take consistent good care of your oral health to avoid needing similar treatments in the future, especially if this procedure was performed because of improper or insufficient self-care. Make it a habit to brush your teeth twice daily (at a minimum) for at least two minutes each time. Also, remember to brush your tongue and cheeks, as well as behind the lower and upper front teeth.

It is also important to floss at least once a day and be mindful of the type of foods and beverages you consume, doing your best to limit or avoid starchy foods or foods or beverages that are sugary. Finally, continue scheduling regular checkups every six months (or more if necessary) is the most important step you can take to maintain your oral health and identify and correct issues before they develop into something more significant. By following these best practices, you will significantly reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease and enjoy good oral health for many years to come!

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what is a periodontist?

we specialize in gum disease
tissue growth, and dental implantology

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we specialize in gum disease
tissue growth, and dental implantology

Cost of Crown Lengthening

The cost of crown lengthening and shortening is contingent on a variety of factors, including the severity of your case, the number of teeth that are treated, whether dental sedation is used, and your dental insurance plan. It can sometimes be considered a cosmetic procedure, so please be sure to inquire about that.

At Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants, we are committed to helping you maximize your insurance reimbursement so you can receive optimal care, which is why we will file your claim and handle your paperwork. Please be aware, though, that any remaining balance following coverage is your responsibility to cover.

Before scheduling your appointment for crown lengthening and shortening, we will provide an estimated total cost and answer any questions you have concerning payment plan options, such as Care Credit which offer interest-free payment plans for six-to-twelve-month periods and/or a payment arrangement made in advance with our office.

For your convenience, we accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.

Schedule Your Appointment

At Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants, your oral health is our number one goal. We are committed to providing you with the comprehensive periodontal support you need to continue enjoying a bright, healthy smile. To schedule an appointment for crown lengthening and shortening contact our office at (702) 270-4600.

We look forward to providing you with quality care tailored to your unique needs!