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Crown Lengthening
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Crown Lengthening

I'm scheduled to have a crown lengthening procedure done to a tooth that has already had a root canal and the crown kept popping off every year, after 3x, my "new" dentist, if you know what I mean, said I had to get this done or have it pulled.  Yikes, needless to say I'm ansy.  Can you please tell me how this compares to a root canal?  I've been told it is much easier, I'm doing a lot of research, I imagine it depends on much gum needs repositioning.   Any words of "gentleness" will be much appreciated.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
CLP is a very acceptable treatment when there is not enough tooth structure to warrant placing a crown on.It permits the dentist to place the crown in such a way that it does not impinge on the gum tissue in a harmful way. I don't know your experience with RCT so it would be difficult to compare the two. The procedure usually doesn't take a long time but it does take about six weeks for the gum tissue to mature before the dentist can take impressions for a new crown.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for replying.  I do not want to scare anyone who reads these because I know it causes me so much anxiety when going to the dentist but the root canal was rough.  It took quite a while and I have never admired such precision and knowledge it would take to perform such a thing, whew.  Is the CLT fairly common, will there be alot of pain after, is a simple procedure I suppose is the only way I know how to ask compared to a root canal.  Also, isn't it dangerous for a tooth to set there for six weeks with nothing on it?  I guess I'll have to be very careful because when all is said and done I'll have 3200 bucks in this one tooth.  I kick myself for letting this happen to me. Thank you for your time, help is hard to come by and gets more expensive everyday.
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Avatar_m_tn
Crown lengthening procedure is a great way to expose more tooth to allow better retention for a crown. It is usually not very painful post op, and the dentist may place a sedative packing over the area. My experience has been that patients say either that it "was a little sore for a day or 2" or that it did not hurt at all. It is not dangerous to leave the tooth expposed for six weeks especially since the nerve is gone, but placing a temporary crown may be an option not so much to prevent pain but to protect your tongue from rough sharp edges and to prevent the gum tissue from healing up around the tooth, which is the problem you try to correct with the procedure in the first place. Discuss this with the dentist.  More than likely it will be re-prepared anyway after the tissue has healed but keep it as clean as you can. My only advice would be that if you did not have 100% confidence in your dentist to have a 2nd opinion on the restorability of the tooth--ie is the tooth itself worth the continued investment. I would also personally want a periodontist or a dentist with formal extra periodontal training to do the procedure. good luck!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Is the procedure very hard?  Is it painful?  Is it much easier than a root canal?  I've heard it's a simple procedure and then I've heard it's not.  Sometime ignorance is bliss, this is probably the case for me.  But I do like to get all the facts. Thank you for your help.
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Avatar_m_tn
i answered your questions 11/29
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Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
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