4146 Carmichael Road, Suite A
Montgomery, AL 36106
Caprara Jr, H John D.D.S.
202 Inverness Center Dr # 202
Birmingham, AL, 35242-7635
Timothy Brooks D.D.S. DMD P.C
500 Whitesport Dr SW
Huntsville, AL, 35801
Sutton, Donald W D.D.S.
813 Riverbend Dr
Gadsden, AL, 35901-2556
Looney, William B D.D.S.
4700 Misty Ridge Cir
Birmingham, AL, 35235-8665
There are two reasons why individuals need a dental crown lengthening procedure: to properly restore a tooth or to make a "gummy smile" more attractive and cosmetic dentistry can help with both.
To properly restore a tooth, several millimeters of healthy tooth structure must be available above the crest of supporting bone. However, this often is not the case when teeth are fractured, severely decayed, or worn. If enough tooth structure is not available, and the restorations are placed too close to the bone, the body reacts by creating a chronic inflammatory reaction that can create red, swollen, and sensitive gums. The gums can bleed easily and even become painful. Eventually, the inflammatory reaction may lead to bone loss around the tooth. To prevent these problems and to properly restore the tooth, the patient should have a dental crown lengthening procedure before restorative treatment.
The gummy smile may be the result of gum tissue growing over teeth that are of proper size. Often times teeth that appear small are, in fact, normal-sized teeth that are hiding under excess gum tissue. Dental crown lengthening removes the excess gum tissue and establishes a more appealing gum line.
Dental crown lengthening is a surgical procedure in which gum and bone tissue is removed from the circumference of the tooth. It is done in the dentist's office with local anesthesia (lidocaine). One or several teeth can be treated at the same time. After carefully reshaping the gum and the bone to expose healthy tooth structure, stitches (sutures) are placed to aid in healing. The stitches are usually removed five to ten days after the surgery. Follow-up appointments are scheduled as necessary to evaluate healing and plaque control. The gums should be allowed to heal for six to eight weeks before making any new restorations. At that time, the gums are more stable and better esthetic results can be achieved.
Post-surgical discomfort can last a few days and is usually minimal. It can be easily managed with commonly available over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. Patients can expect to follow their normal routine the day after surgery.
Crown lengthening is recommended to properly restore a broken down tooth or to improve the esthetics of a gummy smile. If a general or cosmetic dentist does not frequently do surgeries, he or she may refer the individual to a periodontist who specializes in dental crown lengthening.
By Laura Minsk, DMD
A healthy, beautiful smile should be part of your wardrobe. When you're getting dressed in the morning, don't forget that a perfect smile is a vital part of your total image.
Your smile is often the first impression people have of you. A psychological study reported in Perceptive Motor Skills found that people judged a person's physical attractiveness by "the mouth, eyes, structure of the face, hair, and nose" in that order!
Psychologists have trouble defining "beauty." But they agree that beauty is important in every social relationship. For example, it was found that mothers cuddle their physically attractive babies more than their so-called "ugly" babies.
Take a moment to smile at yourself in the mirror. Do you have white teeth? Is your smile attractive, appealing? Or, is your smile weakened by cosmetic dental problems? Do you have a broken or missing tooth? If so, you can do something about it.
Cosmetic dentistry has made great strides in the last 20 years. Not only do cosmetic dentists make it possible for people to keep their natural teeth all their lives, they help people look and feel better about themselves.
A cracked tooth, or stained and uneven teeth can be restored. Gaps between teeth, poorly positioned teeth or a jaw that recedes or protrudes, can often be successfully fixed with orthodontics. Did you know that dentists do 95% of all face reconstruction in this country? Through procedures called maxillofacial surgery or orthognathic surgery, many bone and jaw deformities or conditions caused by accidents can be corrected.
Developing a beautiful smile - even if you weren't born with one - is important at any age. Make your smile your strongest fashion asset.