The crown lengthening procedure is usually performed to improve the health of the gum tissue, prepare the mouth for a procedure, or correct a “gummy smile”. A “gummy smile” is used to describe an instance where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue resulting in 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.
Crown lengthening is often required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration. A tooth may have a fracture or existing restoration that is deep below the gumline, close to the bone.
Crown lengthening allows us to provide adequate sound tooth structure for your general dentist to properly restore the tooth. It also you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent recurrent decay and gum disease.
Crown Lengthening Procedure
Crown lengthening takes approximately one hour. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic and involves temporarily separating the gum away from the tooth. Even if only one tooth requires the procedure, it will probably be necessary to slightly reshape the gumline of the surrounding teeth.
When Dr. Bloch is satisfied that the teeth have sufficient exposure and the procedure is completed, 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 treated teeth should be ready for necessary treatment by your restorative dentist approximately two to three months following the crown lengthening procedure.