Crown Lengthening

What is Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is usually performed to improve the health of the gum tissue, prepare the mouth for a procedure, or correct a gummy smile. This is sometimes called a "Gum Lift". A gummy smile is used to describe an instance where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue resulting in short teeth and a less esthetically-pleasing smile.

The procedure involves reshaping or recontouring the gum tissue and bone around the tooth in question to create a new gum-to-tooth relationship. Crown lengthening can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth, or the entire gum line.

Who is Crown Lengthening for?

Before Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is often required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration. The edge of that restoration is deep below the gum tissue and not immediately accessible. It is also usually too close to the bone or below the bone.

Crown lengthening allows us to reach the edge of the restoration, ensuring a proper fit to the tooth. It should also provide enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come loose in the future. This allows you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent decay and gum disease.

How Long does the Procedure Take?

Crown lengthening takes approximately one hour but will largely depend on the amount of teeth involved and if any amount of bone will need to be removed. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic and involves a series of small incisions around the tissue to separate the gums from the teeth.

Even if only one tooth requires the procedure, it will probably be necessary to adjust the surrounding teeth to enable a more even reshaping. In some cases, extraction of a small amount of bone will be necessary as well.

After Crown Lengthening

When the doctor is satisfied that the teeth have sufficient exposure and the procedure is completed, the incisions will be cleaned with sterile water. Sutures and a protective bandage are then placed to help secure the new gum-to-tooth relationship.

Your teeth will look noticeably longer immediately after surgery because the gums have now been repositioned. You will need to be seen in one or two weeks to remove the sutures and evaluate your healing. The surgical site should be completely healed in approximately two to three months following the procedure. 

Functional Crown Lengthening

In certain circumstances, the periodontist may suggest a crown lengthening as a functional component of related procedures: a decayed tooth, a tooth broken below the gum line, or a bridge- or crown-related lack of tooth structure for a restoration. Teeth that have undergone a crown lengthening can be properly restored because of the adjustments to the gum and bone level that expose more of the teeth.

 

 

What Are The Benefits Of This Procedure?

When teeth are decayed or broken down close to or below the gum line, they can often be saved through functional crown lengthening which can expose more of the tooth so your dentist can repair it with a crown or new restoration. Whether you have crown lengthening to improve function or esthetics, you will receive the benefits of both a beautiful smile and improved periodontal health.