Why would I need crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is usually performed to improve the health of the gum tissue, prepare the tooth for a crown/filling, or improve a “gummy smile”. A “gummy smile” is used to describe an instance where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue resulting in smile with shorter appearing teeth. The procedure involves reshaping the gum tissue and bone around the tooth/teeth in question to create a new gum-to–tooth relationship. Crown lengthening can be performed on single or multiple teeth as needed.
Crown lengthening is sometimes required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration if the edge of the restoration is deep below the gum tissue too close to the bone.
Crown lengthening allows us to reach the edge of the restoration, ensuring a proper fit of the crown to the tooth. It also provides enough tooth structure so the new restoration for better retention of the crown decreasing the risk of it coming loose in the future. Crown lengthening also allows you to better clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent decay and gum disease.
About the Crown Lengthening Procedure
The length of a crown lengthening procedure depends on the amount of teeth involved and if any amount of bone will need to be removed. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic and involves an incision around the tissue to separate the gums from the teeth. Even if only one tooth requires the procedure, it is sometimes necessary to adjust the surrounding teeth to enable a more even reshaping. In some cases, removal of bone to reposition the gums will be necessary as well.
When Dr. Nehring or Dr. Terry 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 also be seen for a few visits post operatively to remove the sutures and evaluate your healing.