Crown lengthening is an easy, fast treatment that can make a significant difference in a patient’s smile.
At Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we provide this treatment option to enable our patients to obtain their very best smiles.
What is crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure used to expose more of a tooth and remove excess gum tissue. It is a minor and fairly routine procedure that can make a big difference in the patient’s appearance or enable him or her to receive a needed restoration.
Why choose crown lengthening?
There are two main reasons a patient may need to undergo the crown lengthening procedure.
- The first reason is to make it possible to place a restoration, such as a crown, if there isn’t enough exposed tooth structure to support it. By removing some of the gum and/or bone near the tooth, we can create enough space to successfully complete the restoration.
- The second reason is cosmetic in nature. Patients who have what is known as a “gummy smile,” or a smile in which the gums cover too much of the teeth and make the teeth appear too short, can greatly benefit from crown lengthening. We can remove some of the gum tissue to make the gum line even and show more of the teeth, which makes the patient’s smile appear larger and more attractive.
Who can benefit from crown lengthening?
Patients who are self-conscious about their “gummy” smiles are often good candidates for crown lengthening, provided they are in good oral health. If a patient has teeth that are largely covered by gums, are uneven, or appear too small for the patient’s face, he or she could likely benefit from this procedure.
In addition, patients who need a crown, bridge, or other restoration but do not have enough tooth structure to support it may benefit from crown lengthening.
How is crown lengthening performed?
Before the crown lengthening procedure, a local anesthetic is used. Some patients also opt to use a method of sedation, such as nitrous oxide, to make the procedure more comfortable.
During the procedure, we surgically remove only a very small amount of the gum tissue, shaping it to match your smile. If needed, we can also remove bone tissue to achieve the desired effect. After the gums have been contoured, we’ll gently stitch up the gums.
The length of the procedure will depend on the individual case, but it can often be completed in an hour or less. After the procedure, there is a short recovery period in which the patient must be cautious when eating, brushing, and flossing.
Why choose crown lengthening for a smile makeover?
Crown lengthening is often the perfect complement to a smile makeover, in which a patient strives to obtain his or her ideal smile. A patient may have straight, white, shapely teeth, but if too much gum tissue is covering the teeth, or if the gumline is uneven, it will detract from the smile. In that situation, crown lengthening is the ideal treatment.