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Crown Lengthening


What is it?

Crown Lengthening is a dental procedure that is performed to reshape both the gum tissue as well as the bone for a healthier tooth structure. This procedure actually helps in placing restorations on the teeth or for broken tooth.

Crowns are the tooth-shaped caps that are fitted on a natural tooth for either aesthetic or structural reasons. Dentists usually recommend a crown for the following reasons:

  • When a tooth is cracked, broken or misshapen
  • To complete dental procedures like bridges, root canals and dental implants.

Need for Crown Lengthening

It is necessary in cases when there isn’t enough of the tooth in place to hold the crown, for instance, broken tooth and those affected by tooth decay. The crown cannot firmly attach to the teeth in such instances.

Crown Lengthening reduces gum tissue and as more of the tooth is required above the gum’s surface, the bone is shaved down. A crown that is fitted properly guarantees better oral hygiene and comfort.

Crown lengthening is also recommended to change cases of ‘gummy smile’, where gums are visible above the teeth while smiling.

Crown Lengthening can be achieved either through a surgical procedure or through laser dentistry.

Laser Dentistry In Crown Lengthening

Laser used in Laser dentistry emits light at various wavelengths. It will concentrate this light energy into extremely small spotlights. Laser Dentistry has an advantage of being used on both soft tissues like gum tissue, as well as hard tissue like bone effectively.

Human body is composed of 70% water and this is the case with the soft gum tissue. The tiny spotlight vaporizes this tissue by using the body’s ability to absorb laser light. This actually generates heat also. The amount of light absorbed is directly proportional to the wavelength that is emitted.

In this laser crown lengthening technique, the laser is used to vaporize the required gum tissue; it’s like using it as a scalpel. It serves the purpose of exposing the required tooth material.

Procedure

Laser light can either be emitted continuously or intermittently as a pulse. The dentist will have a better control when using the pulse method, as it will help him or her to monitor the heat’s effect, both at the point of contact and in the tissue surrounding it.

Advantages of Laser Crown Lengthening

The use of Laser Dentistry in Crown Lengthening has quite a number of advantages compared to the conventional method. Some of them are:

  • There will be lesser blood when Laser technology is used when compared to the conventional use of a scalpel. It actually allows the dentist to have a better and unobstructed view of the area, which will help in getting a better result.
  • This method allows the dentist to perform the procedure in less time when compared to the conventional methods.
  • The patient will experience lesser post-operative pain and the healing time is also shorter.
  • Normally, anaesthesia is not required for the procedure but dentists prefer the use of local anaesthesia with laser dentistry, especially when they are working on hard tissues like bone.
  • This procedure is noiseless and the patient can relax better during the procedure when compared to the conventional use of high-speed drills and grinders.

If bone shaving is required then a laser combined with traditional flap procedures can be done. This enables precise gum contouring with laser and the flap opening provides access to the bone underneath. Once the bone has been reduced to the necessary level the flap is stitched back with sutures.

Authored by DR.NIRANJAN P

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