What to do after dental crown lengthening?

Healing Your Smiles: Post-Op Instructions After Dental Crown Lengthening

Dental crown lengthening is a significant procedure that aims to reshape the gum tissue, and sometimes bone, to expose more of a tooth’s surface for a crown or cosmetic enhancement. 

At Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re committed to ensuring that your procedure not only meets your expectations but that your recovery is smooth and comfortable. Adherence to these post-operative instructions is vital for optimal healing and results following your crown lengthening surgery.

Immediate Aftercare

  • Rest: Resting your head elevated for the first 24-48 hours after surgery is essential to minimize swelling.
  • Ice Packs: To reduce swelling during the first 24 hours, apply ice packs to the cheek area over the surgery site for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
  • Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding is average. If bleeding begins, gently press with a moistened gauze pad for about 20-30 minutes. Persistent or excessive bleeding should be reported to our office immediately.

Pain Management

  • Medications: Take any prescribed pain medications as directed. If over-the-counter pain relief is recommended, use as per the instructions on the label, but avoid medicines that can increase bleeding, like aspirin and ibuprofen, for the first few days.

Oral Hygiene

  • Gentle Care: Avoid brushing or flossing the surgical area until advised. Use a soft toothbrush for other regions. We may prescribe a chlorhexidine mouthwash to reduce bacteria and aid healing. Do not use alcohol-based mouthwashes.
  • Saltwater Rinses: After 24 hours, using a warm saltwater rinse (half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) several times daily to promote healing and reduce discomfort.

Eating and Drinking

  • Soft Diet: Consume a soft diet for at least the first week after surgery. Foods like yogurt, soup, eggs, and smoothies are recommended. Avoid seeds, nuts, and anything lodged in the surgical site.
  • Avoid Hot Foods and Beverages: For the first 24 hours, avoid hot foods and drinks that could exacerbate swelling and bleeding.
  • Stay Hydrated: Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water without a straw, as the suction can disturb the surgical site.


  • Reduce Activity: Limit physical activity for the first 48-72 hours post-surgery to decrease swelling and bleeding.

Follow-Up Care

  • Dressings: If a periodontal dressing was placed, it might feel awkward. The dressing should remain until your follow-up visit, but contact us if it falls off or causes significant discomfort.
  • Check-Ups: Attend follow-up appointments as scheduled to allow us to monitor your healing and remove any sutures or dressing.

Long-Term Care

  • Oral Hygiene: Once cleared, resume thorough oral hygiene practices, including brushing with a soft-bristled brush and flossing carefully around the treated area to maintain gum health and prevent infection.
  • Avoid Smoking: Smoking can significantly hinder the healing process. If possible, avoid smoking for as long as possible post-surgery.
  • Regular Dental Visits: Maintain regular dental exams and cleanings at Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry to ensure the health of your gums and overall oral health.

Following these post-operative instructions closely can help ensure a successful healing process after your dental crown lengthening procedure. Should you have any questions or concerns during your recuperation, feel free to reach out to us at Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. We are here to support you every step of the way as you recover and move closer to achieving the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.