Why would I need crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is often required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration. The edge of that restoration may be deep below the gum tissue and not immediately accessible. The edge may also be too close to the bone. Crown lengthening allows us to reach the edge of the restoration, ensuring a proper fit to the tooth. It should also provide enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come loose in the future. This allows you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent decay and gum disease.
Crown lengthening may also be used to 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, multiple teeth, or the entire gum line.
About the Crown Lengthening Procedure
Crown lengthening takes approximately one hour but will largely depend on the number of teeth involved.. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic and involves a series of small incisions around the tissue to separate the gums from the teeth. Even if only one tooth requires the procedure, it will probably be necessary to include the adjacent teeth to enable a more even reshaping. In some cases, reshaping of a small amount of bone will be necessary as well.
When Dr. Herriges is satisfied that the teeth have sufficient exposure and the procedure is completed, sutures 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 surgical site should be completely healed in approximately two to three months following the procedure.