Not Enough Tooth For A Crown?

Not Enough Tooth For A Crown?

Team Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a common restorative option for a tooth with a significant amount of decay or damage. A crown fits over the existing tooth so that the natural root can remain in place. It attaches to the remaining tooth structure, providing a natural look and function. 

What if the extent of the damage to the tooth doesn’t leave enough room for a crown to be attached? Does this mean it will need to be extracted and replaced? Not necessarily. There is an alternative option that could make it possible for you to get a crown restoration even if there is not enough tooth material visible. It’s a periodontal procedure called crown lengthening. 

What is Crown Lengthening? 

Crown lengthening is a procedure used to remove gum tissue in order to expose more of the tooth structure. The tissue can be cut away manually or vaporized with a dental laser. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area where the gum tissue is being removed.  

Who Performs Crown Lengthening? 

Dentists and periodontists can perform crown lengthening procedures. General dentists provide a wide range of dental services that can include periodontal procedures such as crown lengthening. Periodontists are dentists who specialize in treatment of the gum tissue and other support structures for the teeth, meaning crown lengthening would be a common procedure for them. 

What is the Purpose of Crown Lengthening? 

Crown lengthening can be done for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of the teeth, such as to correct a gummy smile. It can also be done for the purpose of preparing a tooth to receive a crown. In many cases removing a small amount of gum tissue can make it possible for a patient to get a crown when they might not be eligible otherwise. 

How Soon After Crown Lengthening Can I Get a Crown? 

It is important to give the gum tissue plenty of time to heal before the crown is placed. This can take a few weeks or even a few months. A temporary crown may be placed over the tooth structure in the meantime to prevent sensitivity and provide a natural look. 

Can I Get a CERECⓇ Same Day Crown? 

CERECⓇ Same Day Crowns offer the technology to create and place a crown in as little as one appointment in some cases. However, if you’ve had crown lengthening it is still necessary for the gum tissue to heal before a permanent crown can be placed. Once your gum tissue is ready, you can come in and have your crown made and fitted on the same day. 

Is Crown Lengthening Worth It?

You may be wondering if it is worth getting crown lengthening done just to get a crown. To understand why, it may help to consider the alternatives. 

If a tooth is unable to receive a crown, the only other option is to extract the tooth and replace it. A tooth can be replaced with a bridge or a dental implant. A bridge consists of two crowns that must be placed over the teeth on each side of the gap with an artificial tooth (pontic) suspended between them. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium that must be surgically placed in the jaw to support a crown. 

Both of these options cost more and are more invasive than a crown lengthening procedure. Preserving the natural root of your tooth with a crown is a more desirable option in most cases. 

Doctors Lake Family Dental Provides Crown Lengthening

If you need a crown lengthening procedure, either for cosmetic or restorative purposes, Doctors Lake Family Dental provides this along with our other periodontal services. After crown lengthening we can fit you with a permanent crown that will protect the tooth and provide a natural look and function. 

To learn more, call 904-264-6700 or contact us today to schedule an appointment.