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Why is a crown lengthening necessary?

     Why is a crown lengthening necessary?  Have a cavity or getting a crown and wondering why you need a surgical procedure?  Here are some reasons why your simple procedure just turned into a surgical one, and what you can expect.

     A crown lengthening procedure is designed to reshape the gums at the base of the desired tooth in order to expose additional tooth surface, and if necessary, adjust the bone level in order extend the height or size of the portion of the tooth that is visible above the gumline so that your new restoration has enough tooth structure to hold it in place. Your gums need at least 2mm of tooth surface area to bond with in order to prevent trapped foods and other potential problems.  If part of a tooth is missing or if the decay is too deep, crown lengthening is used to recreate the required amount of exposed tooth so that restorative dental procedures will not weaken or fall off.

     There are a number of dental conditions that need restorations requiring this procedure, common conditions are: short tooth, severe tooth decay below the gum line, or a tooth that has fractured and broken off beneath the gum line.  A crown lengthening can reduce the bone level and gum tissue in order to gain better access to your tooth .

     When a tooth breaks, or if there is severe decay, the remaining healthy tooth area is reduced and this can affect the potential for a successful tooth restoration.  With crown lengthening, more of the tooth's surface will be exposed and this will help act as an anchor for future restorative work such as crowns, veneers, or more.
 
     This very common surgical procedure, usually performed in less than one hour. Specialized surgical instruments will be used to recontour both the gum tissue and the underlying bone around the tooth for which your crown has been planned. Only the tissue that is in the immediate area surrounding the tooth will be treated, and there is no risk to the neighboring teeth.

     The procedure:  Crown lengthening is performed by your periodontist under a local anesthetic.  This can be combined with sedation for those patients who desire it.  The selected area of the gums is reduced and contoured through the removal of small amounts of tissue. The goal is to lengthen the appropriate teeth and create greater symmetry at the gum line. 

     Post operative care:  For most patients, crown lengthening does not require any additional post-operative care and any slight pain can be easily managed with ibuprofen.  While crown lengthening patients can return to work and begin eating soft foods the day after surgery, full recovery of the gum tissue generally takes one or two weeks.   You will need 4-6 weeks after the procedure and to get the okay from your periodontist before you get your permenant restoration done. This is a simple procedure that goes a long way in ensuring a healthy, long lasting crown restoration.
List of Articles

Oral Cancer Screening

  • May 08, 2017

In the United States 35,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year. World-wide that number jumps to over 480,000 cases. Oral cancer accounts for 2.9% of all cancers in the United States and claims the lives of 9,750 people yearly. Early detection of oral cancer is key to treating and surviving it. If diagnosed and treated early, the 5-year survival rate is 80-90%. Oral Cancer includes cancer of the oral cavity and that of the oropharynx. The oral cavity is made up of your lips, the inside of your cheeks and lips, your teeth, gums, most of your tongue, and the floor and r...
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Getting Over the Hurdles That Keep You From Seeing Your Dentist

  • Mar 16, 2017

The American Dental Association says an overwhelming 97% of you value your oral health! Their recent survey on Oral Health and Well-Being in the United States (http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/HPI/OralHealthWell-Being-StateFacts/US-Oral-Health-Well-Being.pdf?la=en) also says that 95% of you agree that regular dental visits keep you healthy… but only 37% of you actually visited your dentist within the last year. What keeps you from getting to the dentist as often as you want to? The majority of Americans say cost, fear, and inconvenience are the major hurdles that prevent ...
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Stay Fresh this Valentine's Day!

  • Feb 02, 2017

Bad breath giving you trouble? Valentine’s Day is coming up and this is the LAST problem you want to have. Today we will go over what causes bad breath, how you can prevent or stop it, and what it may mean in relation to your overall health. Bad breath can be caused by multiple factors. What you eat, smoking or use of other tobacco products, poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, medications, oral infections, and some diseases are all causes of bad breath. Food particles left in your mouth increase bacteria that can cause foul odor. Also, certain foods like onions and garlic can also co...
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Happy New Year! Some resolutions for a healthy smile!

  • Jan 19, 2017

It’s a new year and it’s time for new resolutions. Typically people vow to get in shape, be healthier, save money, check something off the bucket list… but if you make having a healthy smile one of your resolutions then you can check off at least three of the above mentioned four! Oral hygiene is directly related to overall health, especially for people with heart disease and diabetes. Making your smile healthier will contribute to overall health which can help you get into better shape, and think of all the money you’ll be saving if you’re not spending it on fixing your te...
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Candy Causes Cavities!!!!

  • Oct 27, 2016

 There’s a scary thought for you this Halloween. You’ve heard it a million times, candy and sugar are bad for your teeth, they cause your teeth to rot… but is it true? Almost 600 million pounds of candy is purchased every year for Halloween, the average American consuming 3.4 pounds over Halloween for themselves, and their little trick-or-treaters are ingesting about 3 cups of sugar when they get home with their bags of treats. That is A LOT of sugar! The truth about sugar is not that it rots your teeth itself, but the bacteria that feeds on sugar (streptococcus) breaks down into a...
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Is there a relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular health?

  • Aug 17, 2016

Periodontal disease (“peri” – “around;” “odont” – “tooth”) results in the destruction of the gums, bone and periodontal ligaments. Everyone has different levels of different bacteria in their mouth, some bacteria people carry can cause an inflammation of the gums. This inflammation is actually an immune system response by the body to fight infection caused by the bacteria found the tartar/plaque in the mouth. If left untreated, this inflammation can ultimately lead to the destruction of the gums, bone and periodontal ligaments, resulting in bone loss and eventual tooth loss. T...
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Endodontic Surgery: Root Amputation vs. Apicoectomy

  • Jul 14, 2016

Let’s begin by explaining what these procedures are and what the difference between the two is. Root Amputation is the surgical removal of one root of a multi-rooted tooth, usually upper molars because they have three roots. Apicoectomy is the removal of the tip of the root, the apex of the root, of any tooth. Why might you need one of these procedures done? After you’ve had a tooth that has received root canal treatment, there can sometimes be problems that a re-treatment cannot fix, and if left untreated could lead to the loss of the tooth. Root Amputation is gener...
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Coffee or Tea?

  • Apr 11, 2016

Most people (especially us here in the Pacific Northwest) enjoy starting our mornings with a nice cup of coffee (or tea), but I'm sure most of us have never given a second thought to how this morning ritual affects our teeth. I'm sure everyone knows coffee and tea can cause staining, but are there any other negative effects or are there any benefits? The answer to those questions, both of them, is yes! Because enamel is porous, dark colored foods and drinks like coffee and tea can cause staining. Imagine the inside of your coffee cups... coffee does the same thing to y...
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Healthy Resolutions for the New Year

  • Jan 13, 2016

Made a New Year’s Resolution? Was it to quit smoking? Drink less? Eat healthier? Exercise more? These are all great resolutions for your general health and wellbeing, but they can also really help with your oral health as well! Smoking, abusing alcohol, an unhealthy diet and inactive lifestyle all have negative effects on your oral hygiene. We understand that working out in order to obtain a healthier mouth probably isn’t your top reason for hitting the gym, but it can be an added bonus! Quitting tobacco? Here are a few added reasons why kicking the habit is good for you. Cigarettes...
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Pregnancy and Your Dental Health

  • Oct 28, 2015

Have you heard that during pregnancy calcium gets sucked from the mother’s teeth to help make the baby’s teeth? Well, if you have, that is a complete myth and is not true! Though if the body is deficient in calcium it will pull calcium from other sources in your body, like your bones, so do make sure you’re getting enough nutrients. Pregnancy is “a critical time in a woman’s life and maintaining oral health is directly related to good overall health.” Aharon Hagai D.M.D. Overall dental health is important as well as your physical health. The American Dental Association, American Con...
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What is tissue grafting?

  • Sep 24, 2015

Why might you need tissue grafting? A graft is needed when your tissue recedes, recession is the process in which the tissue surrounds the teeth pulls away from the teeth causing exposure to more of the tooth structure or the root. When gum recession occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. It can cause damage to the supporting bone. Recession is a gradual process that many people may not notice until it becomes more severe. Approximately 4-12% of adults have recession. Exposed root can look unbecoming, cause tooth sensitivity to ...
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Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Root Canal?

  • Sep 03, 2015

Root canal treatment has gotten an undeserved bad reputation in mass public opinion. Though no more painful than getting a filling done for a cavity, many people fear getting a root canal because they've heard that they are painful. In reality, the most painful part of a root canal is the pain you are experiencing before the procedure is performed. More than 14 million teeth receive endodontic treatment, or root canal treatment, each year. "Endo" is the Greek word for "inside" and "odont" is the Greek word for "tooth". Therefore, endodontic treatment is the treatment of the ...
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Why is a crown lengthening necessary?

  • Aug 04, 2015

Why is a crown lengthening necessary? Have a cavity or getting a crown and wondering why you need a surgical procedure? Here are some reasons why your simple procedure just turned into a surgical one, and what you can expect. A crown lengthening procedure is designed to reshape the gums at the base of the desired tooth in order to expose additional tooth surface, and if necessary, adjust the bone level in order extend the height or size of the portion of the tooth that is visible above the gumline so that your new restoration has enough tooth structure to hold...
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What is bone grafting? Why is it necessary for an implant?

  • Jun 17, 2015

Tooth loss has a far reaching effect on your appearance, dental and overall health. Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants because dental implants need bone to hold them in place! Today, we have the ability to grown bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper le...
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I want to replace the missing teeth in my smile. What are my options?

  • May 27, 2015

Lost a tooth recently? Or a few? Fortunately, this day and age, you have many options to replace those teeth. You can get a fixed bridge, a removable dental appliance (either a full denture or a partial), or you can get an implant. What is an implant? Well, it's a fixed artificial tooth. Implant surgery is a procedure that replaces tooth roots with metal, screw-like posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like the real ones. Implants can offer a welcome alternative to bridgework or dentures that don't fit well. You c...
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Osseous Surgery? Give it to me straight Doc, how bad is it gonna be?

  • Nov 24, 2014

Don't worry, osseous surgery is a pretty straight forward procedure that isn't overly invasive. It is the final step in treating periodontal disease and is performed by Periodontist, a dental specialist in gums. The surgery is a procedure done when you have a pocket around a tooth (or teeth) that has not responded to other treatments, such as Scaling and Root Planing and a maintenance program. If you have periodontitis then you have probably already gone in for your exam, your deep cleaning, and then a reevaluation exam that checks the pocket depths after your SRP to...
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Scaling and Root Planning sounds scary, what is it?

  • Oct 28, 2014

Scaling and Root Planning (SRP) is also commonly called a "deep cleaning". During a regular cleaning, your hygienist or dentist will clean the visible, or coronal, parts of your teeth by scaling and polishing in order to remove plaque, calculus, and stains. A deep cleaning, or SRP, is defined by the American Academy of Periodontology as "...the careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins." So, you may be asking, what does that mean? I'll explain. First, ...
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What is a Periodontal Maintenance?

  • Oct 10, 2014

What is a periodontal maintenance and how is it different that the regular cleanings you've probably been doing for most of your life? Well, a "regular cleaning", or prophylaxis, is basically a preventative cleaning. When you have healthy gums and bone you go into your dental office about every six months and get a cleaning of the coronal part of your tooth that includes scaling and polishing procedures to remove plaque, calculus and stains to help prevent you from getting periodontal disease (which we talked about last week). What is "coronal"? It refers to the crown of the tooth, c...
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Is flossing really that important?

  • Sep 29, 2014

In one word, yes! In a study by the Journal of Dental Research, it was found that more than 50% of the adult population has gum disease, aka periodontal disease. What is periodontal disease you may ask? Well, it is a fairly common condition that can lead to things as minor as tooth loss and as scary as a heart attack or a stroke. Periodontal disease can be one of two types: gingivitis or periodontitis. Gingivitis is the less serious, but more common than periodontitis. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria and inflammation. If plaque (made up of bacteria, food particles, a...
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Teeth in One Day | All on Four Dental Implants file

  • Nov 14, 2012

An extraordinary procedure has been developed that permits the placement of 4 dental implants and a fixed bridge in as little as one appointment. In its most extraordinary application an entire mouthful of teeth may be replaced with implants and non-removable set of new teeth in as little as an hour. In most cases there is no bone grafting, no sinus grafting or lift, no incision or suture placement and no healing time required. This procedure is call "Teeth in one Day". The same technique may be used for the replacement of a single missing tooth. TEETH IN ONE...
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Types of Tissue Grafts imagefile

  • Jun 19, 2012

Types of Tissue grafts If you've recently been told by your dentist or gum doctor (periodontist) that you need a gum graft, don't panic. Gum surgery sounds worse than it is. A gum graft may be necessary to protect your teethfrom the damaging effects of gum reccession, or you may choose to have one to improve the appearance of your smile. Gum recession is the process in which the margin of the tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away in a direction toward the end of the root, exposing more of the tooth. This can cause damage to supporting bone. It is a common dental problem -- adv...
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Root Canals VS. Dental Implants: image

  • Jun 13, 2012

Root Canal VS. ImplantAt a recent local implant seminar, the clinician speaker, a representative of a leading implant manufacturer, reportedly told the audience that endodontic retreatment had a success rate of 46% in comparison to implant success rates at 98% (an accurate estimate of retreatment success is 80-85%). This speaker was terribly misinformed or choosing to misrepresent endodontic retreatment in an effort to promote implant placement on behalf of the implant manufacturer. A recent blog post discussed a recent surge of misinformation regarding endodontic retreatment amon...
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Brushing and flossing may save your life! imagefile

  • Jun 01, 2012

Brushing and flossing may actually save your life! If you're worried about heart disease, you can easily spend thousands of dollars each year trying to prevent it, paying hand over fist for prescription medicines, shelves of healthy cookbooks, fitness machines for your home, and a gym membership. Or maybe not. A number of recent studies suggest that you may already have a cheap and powerful weapon against heart attacks, strokes, and other heart disease conditions. It costs less than $2 and is sitting on your bathroom counter. It is none other than the humble toothbrush. "There are...
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Addressing Those Common Concerns About Root Canals imagefile

  • May 01, 2012

Given most people have heard the expression, “I'd rather have a root canal” used to describe a situation they want to avoid, this treatment option has gotten a bad reputation. The reality of root canal treatment is that it is a relatively simple and painless procedure — unlike the tremendous pain and suffering people endure prior to treatment. Our office will perform this necessary endodontic treatment (“endo” – inside; “dont” – tooth), when the inside or pulp of a tooth becomes inflamed or infected. The procedure involves making a small opening in the chew...
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Understanding Gum Disease imagefile

  • May 01, 2012

Periodontal disease affects over 90% of Americans each year and the reality is that you will experience some form of it over the course of your life. The only question is to what degree. The main culprit of the disease is dental bacterial plaque, the biofilm that results when bacteria concentrate at the gum line in everyone's mouth. Think of your mouth as an ecosystem with your own oral tissues living alongside millions of bacteria. However, without thorough brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings, this balance can tip towards the first stage of periodontal disease—...
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Dental Implants versus Fixed Bridgework—Which Option is Best for You? imagefile

  • May 01, 2012

If you are about to have a permanent tooth extracted, understanding the options is critical as implants and bridgework both have their pros and cons. An implant is actually a root replacement; however, unlike the root of a tooth, the implant actually fuses to the jawbone with a permanent crown attached to it. Implants function and look just like natural teeth. By contrast, a fixed bridge is a restoration or prosthesis (replacement part) that is fixed in place by attaching it to adjacent natural teeth that are reduced to allow room for the crowns. If you have any quest...
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Recurring Swollen Gums? Here's What to Do imagefile

  • May 01, 2012

Periodontal (gum) infections can be quite painful, but more importantly, they can be signs of larger problems to come. If you are experiencing recurring swellings on your gums, then you have the hallmark signs of an acute periodontal (gum) abscess and need to schedule an immediate appointment with our office. An abscess is literally an infected pus-filled sac that we can easily treat to release infection. With a little local anesthesia to numb the area and a small pierce to let the infection out, your pain is literally gone in a few seconds. You may also be given a round of ...
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Address: 14700 NE 8th Street, Suite 205, Bellevue, WA 98007

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