A Complete guide to Crown Lengthening

What is Crown Lengthening?

If you have a gummy smile, the best option is often dental crown lengthening. Your teeth will look short because they are partially covered by excess gum tissue. Your crown is a portion of your tooth you can see above your gumline. You may be interested in crown lengthening surgery for cosmetic reasons or the procedure may be necessary if you have broken or decayed teeth. You will notice a significant difference with crown lengthening before and after.

As the best dentists in North Hollywood, we offer dental crown lengthening at Victory Plaza Dental Group. When you have crown lengthening surgery, more of your tooth structure is exposed. This enables us to fit you with a bridge or provide any additional restorative procedure necessary. If you have a misshapen, broken or cracked tooth, we often recommend a crown.

A crown is a cap shaped like your natural tooth. Crowns are also effective if you need a root canal, bridge or dental implant. Your crown will be affixed firmly to your tooth. Crown lengthening is a common procedure usually requiring less than one hour of your time. During your consultation, your crown lengthening cost will be discussed.

Why is the Crown Lengthening Procedure Performed?

If you do not have enough tooth remaining to hold a crown, crown lengthening is recommended. Tooth decay can also impact broken teeth and prevent your crown from attaching firmly. Your gum tissue is decreased with crown lengthening. When necessary, your bone is shaved down so you can see additional teeth above your gum surface. Crown lengthening also helps with your comfort level and hygiene.

Preparing for Crown Lengthening

You may receive a temporary crown from Victory Plaza Dental Group until your crown lengthening procedure. This protects your tooth until your new crown can be fitted. Prior to crown lengthening surgery, you will need to provide your medical history. You need to tell us which medications you are taking. We will let you know if any of them need to be discontinued before your crown lengthening. Your x-rays will be viewed before the procedure.


Crown Lengthening Procedure Steps

Your crown lengthening is an outpatient procedure. The amount of time you will need to recover depends on if bone and soft tissue are both removed and how many teeth are involved. Your temporary crown may be removed for crown lengthening, then replaced after your procedure. You will be provided with local anesthesia and possibly a sedative. The crown lengthening procedure steps are simple.

First, your gums are cut and pulled away from your teeth to expose the bone and roots. You may only require the removal of your gum tissue. Your gums are then sutured back together and the area may be bandaged for protection. In specific situations, your bone tissue may be reshaped or removed to expose a larger portion of your teeth. The most common techniques for crown lengthening are:

• Gingivectomy
• Apically repositioned flap surgery
• Surgical extrusion

The best technique for your needs will be selected by your dentist based on the condition of your mouth and what is causing your excess gum tissue. Your crown lengthening technique is influenced by certain factors including:

• Cosmetic considerations
• Root proximity
• Root appearance
• Amount of bone loss
• Position of your affected teeth
• Need for a cap or filling
• Tooth root length in comparison to your crown

Crown Lengthening Techniques

Regardless of which technique is used, you will notice a difference in crown lengthening before and after. The specific technique can affect your crown lengthening cost.


When your gum tissue is removed with electrocautery, a laser or a scalpel, it is called a gingivectomy. You will receive local anesthesia. A laser gingivectomy is often preferred when appropriate since you will have less pain and bleeding. If you have electrocautery, this technique is just as effective. Your surgeon will use an instrument heated using electricity.

Your crown lengthening recovery time is generally faster with a gingivectomy. If you have only had your gum tissue removed, you should be completely healed from the procedure within four to six weeks.

Apically Repositioned Flap Surgery

For this crown lengthening technique, a flap of tissue is created using an incision in your gums. Excess bone and tissue are removed by lifting your flap. The amount is dependent on how much of your tooth needs to be exposed. Your flap is then repositioned toward your tooth root. Your flap remains in place during your crown lengthening recovery through the use of stitches. You may also receive a bandage or dental dressing to cover the area.

Surgical Extrusion

The best dentists in North Hollywood also offer surgical extrusion. This is when your tooth is moved to the appropriate location on your gum line. This method involves fracturing your tooth under your gums. Stitches are often used for restabilizing your tooth. Your stitches may need to be removed or dissolve as time passes. A splint or wire may be used so your tooth can be anchored to your surrounding teeth.

Potential Risks

Your crown lengthening does have a possible infection risk. This is no greater than with any other surgical procedure you have had. You can help prevent infection by following your instructions for postoperative care. If you have any questions during your crown lengthening recovery, contact Victory Plaza Dental Group. After your crown lengthening surgery, you may have bleeding from your surgical site.

You may experience teeth sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures. Your sensitivity will gradually decrease over time. Your tooth may appear longer than the surrounding teeth. Your tooth may feel looser if any bone was removed. The placement of dental implants should you lose your tooth later on may be more difficult.

Is Crown Lengthening Painful?

You will receive anesthetics during your crown lengthening so you will not feel any pain. After your anesthesia wears off, you will most likely feel pain for anywhere from a few days to one week. You will be given a prescription for pain relievers in addition to a specialized mouth rinse to promote gum healing.

Crown Lengthening Recovery Time and Guidelines

Your crown lengthening recovery is roughly three months. As your gums heal, you will be able to resume your regular lifestyle. For the first two or three days after your crown lengthening procedure, you should not perform any strenuous activities. If you perform any heavy exertions or heavy lifting, your healing process can be affected resulting in additional bleeding. Ask the best dentists in North Hollywood questions about your recovery and follow the guidelines below.

Using an Ice Pack

You can decrease swelling by applying an ice pack to your face. Use your ice pack for the first few hours after crown lengthening. Keep your ice pack on for 20 minutes, remove it for 20 minutes and repeat. Moist heat is beneficial for your first few days.

Wearing Your Denture or Stent

If you were instructed to wear a stent or denture, leave it on for 24 hours. If you have an excess of blood in your mouth, use a Chlorhexidine rinse or lukewarm salt water but do not take out your denture or stent for 24 hours.

Taking Your Medication

Your aftercare instructions probably recommend using Tylenol or ibuprofen regularly. You may receive a prescription for antibiotics or extra-strength painkillers including Vicodin, Darvocet or Tylenol with codeine.

Dressings Care

Do not remove your dressings for seven to 14 days. During this time, your dentist might replace your dressings one or two times.

Hot Foods

Do not consume hot food or rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours after your crown lengthening procedure. Both can result in your experiencing a longer period of bleeding. If you continue to bleed, use moistened gauze or a moistened tea bag and apply very slight pressure to the surgical area for between 20 and 30 minutes.


Do not smoke for a minimum of seven to 10 days after your procedure.


In the area where you have dressing, brush just your biting surfaces and be gentle. You can floss and brush all other areas normally. Chew on the side of your mouth opposite of your dressing.


Do not consume any alcohol until your post-op appointment is completed.

Soft Foods

Keep food away from your surgical area when eating. Do not consume anything brittle, spicy, highly seasoned, hard, acidic or sticky. Drink a lot of fluids and do not eat small seeds and nuts.

Your Surgical Site

Do not prod your surgical site with your finger or tongue or use a straw. Do not pull your lip down or you can cause damage due to changing pressure.

How Much Does Crown Lengthening Cost?

You can expect to pay an average of $1,000 to $4,000. If your treatment is for restoration or medical issues, your insurance company may cover part of the cost.

The Final Word

Your dental health is extremely important. Contact us today for a consultation to determine if crown lengthening is the correct procedure for your individual needs.