Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure performed to expose more tooth structure in order to properly restore a tooth. It is most commonly done when a broken tooth or filling extend well below the gum-line.
Crown lengthening allows the dentist to reach the edge of the restoration, ensuring a proper fit. The tooth becomes easier to clean and less prone to new decay. If the procedure is not done, the deep filling or crown will cause chronic inflammation and redness.
In crown lengthening surgery, the region around the tooth root is exposed and reshaped, the bony shape around the tooth may be reshaped, and then stitches are placed to hold the gum in place.
In some cases, crown lengthening can be done in a simpler form, called electro-surgery. In these cases, a laser like device reshapes the gum, exposing more tooth. The bone is not reshaped. Electro-surgery is generally only used for minor situations and is not sufficient in most deep fractures or fillings.
While a general dentist may perform this procedure, we may refer you to a periodontist, who typically has more training in this area of gum treatment.
The procedure takes approximately one to two hours. When the procedure is completed, a protective "bandage" is placed and will need to be removed in one or two weeks. Sutures are also removed at this point.
Although your teeth appear short, they may actually be the proper length. The teeth may be covered with too much gum tissue. We can correct this by performing the periodontal procedure, cosmetic crown lengthening.
This is usually done to eliminate excessive displays of gum (gummy smile). It can also help develop proper proportions between the width and height of the teeth. Cosmetic crown lengthening can be done in conjunction with restorative services or by itself as a way to improve the smile.
*Practice of General Dentistry
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