Shalman Dentistry

Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening, like its name implies, is a procedure that removes gum tissue, making your teeth seem longer. It’s rare when someone asks for crown lengthening surgery. Usually, it’s the first step of a multi-step dental restoration process. A family dentist in Downtown NYC, such as Dr. Alex Shalman, can perform this outpatient surgery in the Lower Manhattan office of his boutique practice. While you need some recovery time for your gums to heal, the procedure itself is quite painless. Call Dr. Shalman to find out if the procedure can benefit you.

What Is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is an oral surgery done to expose more of your tooth or teeth. The surgery involves removing some of your gums, bone or both. Sometimes, your family dentist recommends this procedure for purely cosmetic reasons, because your teeth appear to be too small. Other times, though, the procedure may be necessary before you undergo a separate, second procedure.

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Your Downtown NYC dentist can perform crown lengthening surgery on one tooth or on several teeth during the same procedure. Your dentist may decide it’s necessary or wise to do it for all of your upper teeth or all of your lower teeth at the same time. When Dr. Alex Shalman is your dentist, he discusses with you the reasons for the procedure beforehand.

Why Do I Need Crown Lengthening Surgery?

Your dentist in Lower Manhattan often performs the crown lengthening surgery to access a problem tooth or to insert a dental device, such as a bridge or veneer. The reasons for a crown lengthening procedure include:

When the procedure isn’t done for cosmetic reasons, it’s not often done as a standalone surgery. Crown lengthening is usually one step in a tooth restoration process. An alternate procedure, if you’re just looking for smile improvements, is gum contouring, which is less invasive than crown lengthening. An experienced family dentist like Dr. Shalman can safely do either outpatient procedure in his boutique dentistry practice.

How Is a Crown Lengthening Done?

Before your procedure, Dr. Shalman may take x-rays of the particular trouble spot — or of your whole mouth, if you’re having extensive crown lengthening. Depending on your oral health habits, you may need to undergo a teeth cleaning procedure before your crown lengthening. When you’re ready, your Downtown NYC dentist uses one of three different approaches to the procedure:

  • Gingivectomy. This is a procedure to remove extra gum tissue with a scalpel, a laser or electrocautery. You’re given local anesthesia to eliminate any crown lengthening pain. This type of procedure has the quickest recovery time.
  • Apically repositioned flap surgery. In this surgery, your dentist cuts a flap out of your gum to remove as much tissue beneath the flap as necessary. Your dentist then folds the flap down again and stitches it in place. You may need a bandage or dressing over the stitches temporarily.
  • Surgical extrusion. This procedure focuses on the tooth instead of the gums. Your dentist moves the tooth to its proper place along your gumline. To secure the tooth, your dentist may use dissolvable stitches, a wire anchor or a splint.

Each of these requires you to have a numbing local anesthesia, which minimizes your pain during the procedure. While all three surgeries produce some level of crown lengthening pain, the gingivectomy generates the lowest level of pain, and none of the pain exceeds tolerable levels. You can usually control the pain with short-term use of over-the-counter painkillers.

What Happens After My Crown Lengthening Procedure?

Depending on which procedure you had done, your post-surgery care varies. Prepare your home with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, super soft foods and some mouthwash to keep your mouth as germ-free as possible. If you have stitches, your dentist provides specific care instructions, especially regarding your daily tooth-brushing, flossing and mouth-washing. After you recover, Dr. Shalman may begin to prepare you for your next dental procedure. Follow all post-surgery directions carefully to ensure your next procedure goes off without a hitch. Complete recovery, depending on where in your mouth the procedure was done, may take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.

To be evaluated for crown lengthening surgery or to find out if you need crown lengthening, contact Dr. Alex Shalman for an appointment today. His boutique practice serves the West Village, East Village and Chelsea neighborhoods — in fact, all of Lower Manhattan — as a family and cosmetic dentist.

This page was published on Jan 31, 2021, modified on May 25, 2021 by Dr. Alex Shalman (Dentist) of Shalman Dentistry

Shalman Dentistry
44 W 10th St #1A
New York, NY 10011
(10th St, between 5th & 6th Avenue)
(212) 658-1093
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DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLYThis website's purpose is to provide general dentistry information. None of the details given is intended to be taken as authoritative dental advice. It's important to speak with a dentist in NYC about your problems, as it may be a symptom of a serious underline condition. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, a detailed oral examination should always be performed. Make an appointment with your nearest healthcare provider or call our Lower Manhattan practice to set up a consultation.

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