Crown Lengthening

General Information & Overview

The "crown" is the part of a tooth visible above the gumline.  Sometimes more of the tooth below the gums must be exposed to fill a cavity near the gumline or place a new crown on a broken tooth.  "Crown lengthening" provides more tooth structure for this to be done.  This helps to ensure that the restoration can be fitted properly by the dentist without causing gum irritation. Without the crown lengthening procedure in these cases, the surrounding tissues will be chronically inflamed due to the improper spacing between the base of the restoration and the bone. Crown lengthening can also be done to correct a "gummy smile" with
esthetic & gingival contouring.

Removing excess gum tissue with gum reduction surgery can help control and prevent periodontal disease. Increasing the exposed surface area of the tooth will decrease the depth of periodontal pockets between the teeth and gums where bacteria can grow and harm your oral health.

Tenderness may be experienced for several days with over-the-counter medications sufficient for most patients. However, prescription medications are available for comfort if needed.

Crown Lengthening Procedure

Prior to the procedure, a local anesthetic will be administered by your doctor to prevent pain and discomfort. Small incisions in the gum tissue will be needed to separate the gums from the teeth. In some cases, a small amount of bone will also need to be removed to create a natural smile. Once the procedure is completed, the doctor will clean the incisions with sterile water and place sutures and a protective bandage over the area. This will encourage the teeth and newly contoured gums to reattach to each other.

You will need to return one week later for the doctor to evaluate your healing and provide you with further instruction in oral hygiene.

Esthetic Crown Lengthening

This relatively simple procedure usually takes about an hour to perform and is essentially a "gum lift".  During the procedures, the doctor removes excess gum and bone tissue and reshapes the smile to expose more of the natural tooth. While the procedure can be performed on just one tooth, it is often done to the entire smile. The end result is that more of a natural tooth is exposed creating a wider, more beautiful smile.

Functional Crown Lengthening

Functional crown lengthening is needed in order to perform cosmetic or restorative procedures if a tooth is too far decayed, broken below the gumline, or has an insufficient structure for restoration.  In cases like this, Dr. Acharya will reshape the gums and support bone to allow for adequate room to place a high-quality restoration.

The Benefits

  • Help control and prevent periodontal disease by decreasing the depth of periodontal pockets between the teeth and gums
  • Crown lengthening removes extra gum tissue for balanced tooth-to-gum relationship
  • Improve functionality of chewing foods
  • Improve appearance and overall confidence of your smile