Excessive gum tissue can make teeth appear stubby or uneven, creating what is commonly called a “gummy” smile. Some patients feel self-conscious about their gummy smiles, but crown lengthening can elongate teeth to improve the overall appearance of their mouths.
If you’re looking for experienced dentists in Dallas, TX, to help you fix a gummy smile, then look no further than the dentists at Lakewood Dental Group. Dr. Shaun Sigurdson and Dr. Mihir Patel use contemporary techniques to gently remove excess gum tissue with effective crown lengthening procedures.
What is crown lengthening?
Typically, patients receive crown lengthening as a cosmetic procedure. By trimming excess or uneven gum tissue, Dr. Sigurdson and Dr. Patel can give patients a more aesthetically-pleasing smile. However, crown lengthening also has more practical applications, such as:
- Exposing areas of dental decay below the gumline to administer treatment
- Repairing cracks or fractures below the gumline
- Increasing the surface area onto which a dental restoration–like a dental crown–can rest
Whether cosmetic or restorative, crown lengthening is an effective solution to get a healthier, more beautiful smile.
What is a crown lengthening procedure like?
First, a comprehensive consultation with our Lakewood dental team will help us decide if a patient is an ideal candidate for the procedure. If so, then Dr. Sigurdson and Dr. Patel will use cutting-edge technology to capture images of the patient’s current smile. Our team will use these images to carefully plan the patient’s treatment and show them what their smile will look like after completing the procedure.
Before beginning the procedure, our team will administer local anesthesia to the areas receiving treatment. This will ensure that the patient’s gums are completely numb before we begin.
Next, Dr. Sigurdson and Dr. Patel will use a scalpel or soft-tissue laser to gently trim and contour the gum tissue. In some cases, our team will remove a small amount of bone tissue to further enhance the crown lengthening results.
Finally, our team will carefully stitch the gum tissue closed with sutures. With proper aftercare, most patients’ gums will fully heal in six weeks.
Crown Lengthening Aftercare Instructions
Caring for gum tissue after a crown lengthening procedure is of utmost importance. Otherwise, patients may encounter complications–like infections–that can negatively impact their oral and overall health.
Some patients may receive a prescription painkiller or mouthwash to reduce pain and prevent infections after their procedure. Other patients may only require an over-the-counter painkiller to limit pain and swelling. Regardless, patients should carefully follow the instructions on the bottle or packaging.
Swelling and Bleeding
Applying ice packs to the face will help soothe residual pain and swelling after a crown lengthening procedure. Dr. Sigurdson and Dr. Patel recommend using an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes at a time for the first 48 to 72 hours following the procedure.
Some bleeding is normal for the first 24 hours after a crown lengthening procedure. Patients can use clean gauze pads to stop the bleeding and encourage blood clots. If excessive bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours, then call our Lakewood dentists immediately.
Food and Drinks
Patients should avoid very hot, spicy, acidic, hard, or sticky foods for one to two weeks after their procedure. Instead, they should reach for softer foods, like smoothies, soup, and mashed potatoes.
Patients should also avoid carbonated beverages, extremely hot drinks, and alcohol for the first week.
Patients should not brush or floss around the areas that received treatment for approximately one week. Instead, focus on chewing surfaces and areas that did not receive crown lengthening treatment.
See If Crown Lengthening Is Right For You
If you’re looking for a Lakewood dentist to improve the appearance of a gummy smile or restore your dental health below the gumline, then call the team at Lakewood Dental Group now. We can give you a healthy, beautiful smile with crown lengthening treatments.
New and existing patients can reach our team by sending us an online message or by calling our Dallas dental office at (214) 827-1885.