Crown Lengthening

What is crown lengthening?

We generally perform crown lengthening to improve the health of the gum tissue or to prepare the mouth for restorative or cosmetic procedures.  In addition, we also use these procedures to correct a “gummy” smile, where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue.  

It is a versatile and common procedure that has many effective uses and benefits.  

Here are some of the most common reasons for crown lengthening:

Restoration of damaged teeth

Periodontal disease can cause severe damage to the teeth, as can trauma and decay.  When teeth are broken or decayed beneath the gum line, we do this procedure to prepare the area for a new restoration

Cosmetic uses

Extra gum tissue can make teeth look unnaturally short and can also increase susceptibility to gum disease.  We remove excess gum tissue to restore a balanced, healthy look and improve the aesthetic appearance of the smile. 

Dental crowns

We use this type of procedure to provide more space between the supporting jawbone and dental crown.  This prevents the new crown from damaging gum tissues and bone once it is in place.

What does crown lengthening involve?

We normally do these procedures under local anesthetic. The amount of time this procedure takes will largely depend on how many teeth are involved and the complexity of the work. Using crown lengthening, we expose more of the natural tooth by reshaping or recontouring bone and gum tissue.  This can be done on a single tooth, many teeth, or the entire gum line, exposing an aesthetically pleasing smile. 

Even if only one tooth requires the crown lengthening, we often treat neighboring teeth as well to provide a more even reshaping.  

In some cases, we will only need to remove a small amount of tissue to place a crown. In other cases, we will also need to remove a small amount of bone from around the tooth. The teeth will look noticeably longer immediately after surgery because the gums will have been repositioned. 

In some cases, we provide prescriptions for pain medication, a mouth rinse, or antibiotics. The surgical site will be completely healed in approximately two to three months.

If you have any questions about crown lengthening, please contact our office.