Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that adjusts the gum position around the affected tooth. The purpose is to expose a greater amount of the tooth structure in order to restore the tooth prosthetically. The outcome is a more solid, aesthetically pleasing smile.
Crown lengthening is a common procedure that is removes gum tissue and/or bone for the purpose of exposing more of the tooth. This procedure is used for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the tooth does not stick out of the gum line enough to support a crown or filling. Another case is when a patient has a “gummy smile”, meaning a lot of gum tissue is around their upper teeth. Even more, if the tooth is prone to vulnerable decay, exposing more of the tooth will result in more direct care of the tooth with brushing, flossing, and fluoride treatments. Crown lengthening is also used in conjunction with dental crown. This procedure affords more space between the dental crown and the supporting jawbone. These examples can all be easily addressed with crown lengthening.
This procedure is completed using a local anesthesia, and often along with sedation. Should the procedure be related to a dental crown, the crown is removed prior the surgery. Even though only one tooth may be directly affected, the crown lengthening procedure will typically include the neighboring teeth as well. This allows for gradual reshaping. In order to expose more of the tooth, incisions are made to pull the gums away from the teeth. By making these small cuts, the excess gum tissue is sculpted in order to create symmetry in the once uneven gum line, and/or to make the teeth appear longer. In some cases, a small amount of bone needs to be removed in addition to the soft tissue. Once more of the tooth is exposed, the area exposed is then sterilized and then stitched or bandaged. Following the procedure, facial swelling is expected. Also, approximately one week after, the dentist removes the stitches. In the case of using the procedure for a dental crown, the gums heal for approximately three months before the tooth is prepared for the final crown.