The Truth About Your Tooth

Something to Smile About: Teeth Lengthening

Chances are, you've inherited many characteristics—good and bad—from your parents. Dental issues are often traced back to someone with misaligned teeth. Another thing that comes from your parents is tooth shape. Some people have short teeth, which means that their smile reveals more gum than they would like. You don't have to live with this issue, so read on to find out what your dentist can do to make your smile more attractive.

Crown Lengthening in a Nutshell

Small teeth on the top or the bottom can be fixed using a dental procedure known as crown lengthening. You might have heard of crowns that can be placed on top of natural teeth to make them more attractive but this procedure does not involve that type of crown. Instead, the gum area is the focus of some minor dental surgery. Also called a gum lift, this procedure removes some gum tissue covering the teeth so that more are exposed. A single visit is usually all that is necessary to do the job.

How It Works

You may not need anything stronger than a local numbing anesthetic but you should discuss all available types of relaxation, sedation, and anesthetics with your dentist. This procedure involves removing gum tissue using tiny incisions after the numbing agent has taken effect. In some cases, the bone underneath the gums must be reduced during the procedure. If necessary, sutures (small stitches) are added to close things up.

Be Amazed at the Change

This procedure can bring about almost instantaneous positive results that only get better as the gum swelling goes away. You will likely be told to eat and drink carefully for a few days while your gums are still a bit sore and swollen. The same thing goes for brushing and flossing—go easy on the areas that were affected by the surgery. A week or so after your surgery you may be asked to return to the dentist to have the sutures removed.

What to Expect Afterwards

You can expect some minor discomfort after a crown lengthening procedure, but that can be usually be alleviated by using over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen. You may also notice some sensitivity to the newly-exposed areas of your teeth to cold, heat, and air. That will go away with time.

To learn more about this procedure to lengthen your teeth and boost your smile, contact a local dental office.