Crown lengthening is a dental treatment which can help dentists restore short teeth. To help bring light to the subject, we asked our dental practitioners to explain what crown lengthening entails.
What is crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure where the practitioner removes gum tissue and/or bone to expose more tooth. This means, the tooth appears longer by showing more of the top of the tooth.
Suitability for crown lengthening
Patients who have excessive gum tissue showing around their upper teeth when they smile (gummy smile) may be suitable candidates.
Your dentist may also use the treatment if a tooth has broken off at the gum line. In some cases this does not leave enough structure to place a crown even though the root may be very strong. By removing some gum tissue or bone, your dentist will be able to recreate the base for the dental crown.
Crown lengthening treatment process
Usually, a periodontist will perform your crown lengthening treatment. At your first visit, the team will take intra- and extra-oral images and fully examine your teeth. You may also require a clean prior to surgery.
Before surgery, you will receive an itemised treatment plan to take home.
If your tooth requires a crown but needs crown lengthening prior to placing your final crown, your dentist might place a temporary crown. This crown will protect your tooth until you have undergone treatment.
On the day of your surgery, the periodontist will use local anaesthesia before starting the treatment. The treatment duration can vary and depends on the number of teeth involved and if both soft tissue and bone need to be removed. If the procedure involves removing bone structure, it will take longer.
Your periodontist will remove your temporary crown (if applicable), a small amount of gum tissue and, in most cases, recontour bone around the tooth root to expose enough of your tooth. Sutures will then be used to hold the gums in place during healing.
After your treatment, our team will provide you with aftercare instructions and pain relief medication.
You will have to maintain a soft food diet that is low in acidity, spice or seasoned content. This will help the healing process of the affected area. You should also avoid alcohol and smoking for at least 7 days after surgery. Seven to ten days after the surgery, your periodontist will remove the stitches. A follow-up visit may be required after a couple of weeks to check how the area has healed.
The healing time for crown lengthening is around three months. If you require a crown, your dentist will then prepare your tooth to place the crown.
Crown lengthening costs
The cost for crown lengthening treatment depends on several factors. These include how many teeth are involved, if bone structure is to be removed and if you need a crown or multiple crowns placed.
The costs for crown lengthening depend on each case and how many teeth are getting treated. The single tooth fee ranges from $800 to $2500.
During your first consultation, you will receive an itemised treatment plan for your case which will give you a detailed overview of the costs involved.
Does my health fund cover crown lengthening treatment?
Crown lengthening falls under the major dental category of most private health funds’ extras cover. Once you have received your itemised treatment plan, your health fund will be able to inform you about how much you can claim.
At Dental Implants & Aesthetics, we also offer zip payment plans. These include up to 6 months interest-free option, allowing you to pay for the treatment in instalments.
Risks of crown lengthening
Every surgical procedure carries risks. It is important to discuss these prior to surgery with your periodontist before going ahead. After your crown lengthening surgery, your affected area may bleed, swell, or be sore for a while. You might also experience tooth sensitivity as a part of your tooth’s root is now exposed. Moreover, as with any surgery there is risk of infection.
In general, the treated tooth may appear longer than the surrounding teeth as bone and gum tissue have been removed.
Crown lengthening at Dental Implants & Aesthetics
At Dental Implants & Aesthetics, Periodontist Dr Eugene Huang offers crown lengthening treatments. To book a consultation, please call our friendly team on 07 5503 1701.