Innovative Tooth Surgery: Answering 3 FAQs Regarding Crown Lengthening
Accidents happen: Getting hit in the face while playing rugby with the guys, accidentally biting down on an olive pip while eating out, etc etc. Unfortunately, these accidents may lead to a fractured tooth. Although many instances of fractured teeth are relatively painless, the risk of a piece of tooth breaking off is high. This makes it necessary to have a crown placed to protect the tooth. However, there may be times when there isn’t enough tooth structure left to place a crown. In this case, visiting a dental specialist for minor tooth surgery may be in your best interest.
Whenever there isn’t enough tooth structure left to immediately apply a crown, you can opt for a minor procedure called crown lengthening. This form of oral surgery adjusts the gum and deeper attachment levels to expose more of the tooth. This creates more room for a crown to be cemented to the fractured or chipped tooth.
If you are already scheduled to undergo crown lengthening surgery, you may have a number of questions racing through your mind. Here are some of the more common questions surrounding crown lengthening to help you learn more about the procedure:
Does my Health insurance policy cover crown lengthening?
This would depend on your policy and “extras” cover. Crown lengthening is usually covered under the ‘major dental’ category. It may be a good idea to have a closer look at your policy and to bring up the topic with a dental specialist to see if there is a chance for some sort of health fund rebate.
How long does the procedure last and how long is the expected recovery period?
“How long does oral surgery take?” is one of the most common questions asked about crown lengthening. Generally, crown lengthening can be completed within an hour, although this largely depends on how many teeth need to undergo the procedure. You may want to add an extra 30 minutes to the expected length of the procedure just in case.
The recovery period is relatively quick. A good number of people can have the crown placed within 4 to 6 weeks. However, if the procedure was done in order to have a crown placed on your front tooth, then you may need to wait an additional 3 to 6 months to allow the gums to fully ‘settle’ and finish remodelling. Applying a crown too early will only cause it to become exposed if the gums do remodel significantly. During that time, your dental specialist may ask you to come back for a follow-up check to assess how well your gums are healing.
What should I avoid doing before and after the procedure?
Prior to the procedure itself, you should inform your dental specialist about any prescription medication you may be taking since some medication may interfere with the anaesthesia. If you are a smoker – then you will also need to ‘limit’ or ‘quit’ this habit to ensure optimal healing.
After the procedure, you’ll be asked to follow a soft diet for a week or two. You will continue to clean the area gently using the recommended antiseptic gels or mouthwashes.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure the success of your procedure is to have it carried out by a periodontist. What is a periodontist? Basically, they are a specialist dentist qualified to diagnose and treat problems with the gums. They generally have state-of-the-art modern contemporary facilities, but they also have some of the most experienced and respected dental specialist surgeons.