Crown lengthening is a procedure that essentially makes a tooth appear longer. Crown lengthening exposes more of the natural tooth by reshaping or recontouring the bone and gum tissue. This treatment can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth, or the entire gum line giving you a pleasing smile. There are two situations in which crown lengthening is typically used: tooth restoration or the correction of a “gummy smile” where a significant number of patients can go without treatment for years.
Crown Lengthening for Tooth Restoration
When a tooth breaks, or if there is severe decay, the remaining healthy tooth area is reduced and this can affect the potential for successful tooth restoration. With crown lengthening, more of the tooth’s surface will be exposed and this will help act as an anchor for future restorative work such as crowns, veneers, or more.
Your gums need a minimum amount of tooth surface area to bond with in order to prevent trapped foods and other potential problems. If part of a tooth is missing or if the decay is too deep, there might not be enough of a crown to work with. In situations like this, crown lengthening provides 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 so that restorative dental procedures will not weaken or fall off.
Crown Lengthening for Aesthetics
You have probably seen people with what you would consider short teeth, or a “gummy” smile. While it may appear that their teeth are shorter than normal, it’s often just a case of teeth being hidden behind the gums. Extra gum tissue can make teeth look unnaturally short and also increase susceptibility to periodontal infections. By repositioning the gum line, you can improve your smile and the contours of your face.
One of the major advantages of crown lengthening is that it can often be completed in one visit with either your choice of local anesthesia or sedation if you prefer. The excessive gum tissue that is hiding your teeth is removed to expose the normal length of the tooth.
Crown Lengthening Benefits
- Longer, more enhanced teeth that no longer look short or like “baby teeth”
- A more attractive smile
- Improved self-image and more self-confidence
- A relatively quick healing period with little pain
- Visible results in as little as one week from surgery
- Proper contouring of your gum tissues to allow for your dental crown to properly fit on your tooth.
Aside from the esthetic benefits of crown lengthening, correcting a “gummy” smile can also improve your overall periodontal health. When gum tissue does not recede normally as adult teeth appear, pockets can form in the gums, which can result in advanced gum disease. By contouring the gums through crown lengthening, you can not only improve the look and confidence of your smile but also help prevent future problems. For more information on crown lengthening or to set up an appointment, please contact us for a consultation.