Crown (Tooth) Lengthening Post-Op Instructions
Part of your crown lengthening obtained comes from positioning the gums at a specific location during your surgery. Since the gums attach to the floor of the mouth and the fold in the cheek, repeated pulling back of the cheek or tongue to look at the surgery site, can cause the gum line to move during the first 5-7 days after surgery, which can reduce the degree of crown length we obtain. This also tends to loosen the sutures prematurely.
We generally use a special suturing technique during crown lengthening surgery that can sometimes start to unwind as healing progresses. When this happens, it is not a large concern but can become annoying as the sutures unwind. The loops in the suture that are unwinding or the areas that are hanging loose can be cut back with clean manicure scissors if you feel comfortable, or you can contact the office to have the sutures removed earlier than scheduled. This early loosening usually means things are healing well and the sutures are no longer necessary.
It is quite normal after crown lengthening surgery for the roots of the teeth to be sensitive to changes in temperature and sometimes anything that touches the roots of the teeth. During the procedure, the roots are cleaned very well, making them prone to developing sensitivity. The sensitivity will not harm the teeth and is usually only temporary, but the time it takes to subside can vary from a few days to even a year or two. Plaque accumulations can aggravate this sensitivity, so you should continue to brush normally and use a salt water rinse or over the counter rinse like Peroxyl to help keep the area clean. If the sensitivity is severe or does not seem to be resolving, a prescription fluoride toothpaste or gel can be phoned in to a pharmacy to help with the sensitivity.
If you underwent crown lengthening to expose an area of deep decay or if your tooth was severely broken under the gums and you begin to experience a throbbing or pulsating tooth ache after the procedure, it could mean that the decay or fracture is very close to the nerve of the tooth. Please contact our office so we can determine if referral to your dentist or a root canal specialist is indicated.
Very rarely, a small sharp area of bone can poke through the gums. This is called a sequestrum and occurs when gums are very thin and the bone becomes sharp during the remodeling that occurs with this type of surgery. The sequestrum will usually take care of itself. It will usually heal by the gums growing back over the bone or by the small piece of bone working its way out. Unfortunately, this can take several months and the area can be uncomfortable while it is healing. If you suspect that you have one of these sharp areas and it is very uncomfortable, contact our office to determine if treatment is necessary.