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If you have been told you need a filling or dental crown, you might first require a preparatory procedure called crown lengthening. It allows your dentist to access decay or create a better foundation for your crown. It may also be recommended before receiving a veneer.

Information on crown lengthening

  • Conservative Treatment—your dentist will work carefully to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. Some offices have dental lasers that allow for highly precise contouring.
  • Minimal Discomfort—local anesthesia will be used to completely numb the treatment area, and many dentists also offer sedation options.
  • Better Results—if a crown does not contact enough dental tissue, it can fail. A poor fit can also result in decay developing under the restoration.

Is crown lengthening expensive?

Crown lengthening in preparation for a crown or filling is considered restorative, so at least a portion of the cost is probably covered by your insurance policy. This treatment can also minimize your risk of requiring more costly treatment in the future. However, if crown lengthening is performed in preparation for a porcelain veneer, it is considered cosmetic, and will not qualify for coverage.

Before your procedure

The doctor will explain exactly what to expect and provide detailed pre- and post-operative instructions. Here is what you need to know:

  • The tooth and surrounding area will be numbed with local anesthesia. If you wear a temporary crown, your dentist will remove it
  • Small amounts of soft tissue (and bone tissue, in some cases) will be removed
  • Sutures may be applied to close any incisions. Lasers usually eliminate the need for sutures
  • If you wear a temporary crown, it will be placed back onto the tooth
  • The gums must heal for about three months
  • Once you have fully healed, your filling, permanent crown, or veneer can be placed

Dentists only recommend this treatment if it is absolutely necessary. Failure to create a proper foundation for a restoration is risky and could result in the need for tooth extraction in the future. A strong, healthy smile can benefit your confidence and overall health. If you are experiencing any symptoms of tooth decay or other oral health issues, speak to your dentist today.

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update

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To Our Wonderful Family of Patients:

Last night, my wife Connie and I enjoyed the most delicious take-out dinner from FIG restaurant. As always, the food was excellent; however, it was most satisfying to see the local restaurant, along with others, begin its comeback. Our resilient city feels like it is coming back to life—parks are opening and folks and families are enjoying the wonderful spring Charleston air. The Rink dental team is, too, readying itself for the next chapter of practicing dentistry as the community begins reopening its doors.

We are concentrating on continuing to advance our rock-solid foundation of state-of-the-art infection control. We were blessed to keep our dedicated and passionate team employed during the crisis, and have devoted the entire month of April to research, systematically developing, purchasing and installing the best additional infection control protocols and equipment available. We are ready. This month we will begin the process of a “soft opening” of our practice. What this means for our patients is a resumption of the same excellent restorative, esthetic, and preventive care in the safest and most secure environment available anywhere.

Additional safety steps will include asking our patients to wait for their appointments in their cars rather than in the reception area. We will ask that you take a moment to fill out a short questionnaire upon your arrival regarding your health and recent travels. We will take everyone’s temperature (including the team) with a forehead scanner as you enter the practice. We will clean and disinfect all touchpoints in the office in between each patient. We have procured the highest quality KN95 masks and face shields for the staff and have carefully researched and purchased the most advanced aerosol containment and purification systems available for the safety of all our patients. These are a few examples of how we have added additional layers of protection for your and our staff’s benefit.

Finally, I wholly understand that each one of you is an individual with specific desires, needs, and comfort levels. I want you to know that we are here to actively listen to you and to create the best environment for your emotional health. Some will be ready sooner than others to receive care again at our office. Let’s keep the lines of communication open and please know that our relationship with you and your family is our highest priority.

We look forward to reuniting with everyone but until that time it is our wish that you enjoy good health, good spirits, and peace.

To your optimal dental health,

- John F. Rink, DDS, AAACD and team

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