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Dental Crown Lengthening

Mature man in blue shirt smilingCrown lengthening, sometimes referred to as crown-extension or crown-elongation, is a common surgical procedure. The procedure is performed when the tooth is too small to provide an adequate base for retention of an alternative form of dental restoration solution such as a filling or crown.

Crown lengthening is most commonly needed if a tooth breaks off near the gum line. It may also be necessary if a filling or crown falls out of a tooth that has existing decay underneath. If the amount of exposed tooth is inadequate for supporting a filling or crown, Dr. Grasvik may need to expose more of the tooth. This will be done by removing some of the bone, gum tissue, or in some cases both.

When is Crown Lengthening Recommended?

There are many reasons why Dr. Nicholas Grasvik might recommend crown lengthening. Here are a few of the most common reasons:
•  To provide a contouring gum line that will make the tooth easier to adequately clean
•  To save a tooth that might otherwise call for extraction
•  For cosmetic purposes, to improve the appearance of the patient's gum line
•  To extend the life of a restored tooth

Crown Lengthening Process

A crown lengthening procedure in some more severe instances will require the hand and skill of a periodontist. If Dr. Grasvik feels that your case is severe enough, he will refer you to a trusted periodontal practice that he feels most equipped to successfully carry out the procedure.

At your Preferred Dental Care Center consultation for your crown lengthening, you will likely receive a full cleaning. You can expect to go into the procedure that local anesthesia will be used to numb the area. How long the actual procedure will take depends on the severity of the case and the number of teeth requiring treatment.

After the area is thoroughly numb a small incision will be made in order to pull the gum away from the tooth structure. Doing this will expose the root of the tooth, as well as the surrounding bone. In some minor cases, there is no need to remove any bone, the simple, small incision will prove adequate enough for Dr. Grasvik to place the filling or crown. However, most cases require the need to remove at least a small portion of surrounding bone.

Once enough of the tooth is exposed to complete the task at hand, the area will be thoroughly washed with a sterile salt water solution and the gums stitched. Once the site has healed, which generally takes about three months, Dr. Grasvik will then place a permanent crown on the tooth or teeth. It is important to wait for the incision site to heal fully as gums tend to shrink and pull back as they heal, which could lead to the exposure of the edges of the crown should the procedure be completed before the site is ready.

If you have any questions about the crown lengthening procedure, please contact the offices of Preferred Dental Care Center today.


Dr. Nicholas Grasvik
4690 SW Hall Blvd
Beaverton, OR 97005


Easy to find in downtown Beaverton.
Lots of parking available

(503) 350-1234

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