Crown Lengthening

What is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening will reshape excess gum and bone tissue to expose more of your natural tooth. This procedure can improve the health of gum tissue, prepare the mouth for another procedure or correct a “gummy smile,” a term used to describe teeth covered in excess gum tissue. Crown lengthening can be performed on a single tooth, multiple teeth and even the entire gum line. The goal of the procedure is to reshape the gum tissue and bone around a specific tooth to create a new relationship between your gums and your tooth.

Many times, crown lengthening is also necessary when your tooth needs a new crown or restoration. Since the edge of a restoration can run deep below the gum tissue, often close to the bone or even below it, it is not always easily accessible for the dentist. That’s where crown lengthening comes into play. The procedure allows the dentist to reach the edge, ensuring a proper fit of the restoration. At the same time, crown lengthening will provide additional support, so the new restoration is anchored firmly and won’t become loose. This will also allow you to clean the edge of the restoration properly when brushing and flossing, so you can prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

What is laser crown lengthening & laser gum recontouring?

In addition to traditional crown lengthening, MPDG offers laser gum recontouring, a procedure that’s used to reshape the gum tissue around your teeth. During laser gum recontouring or crown lengthening, a state of the art laser is used to reduce gum tissue overgrowth.

To reduce any discomfort, a local anesthetic is used on the gum to numb the area prior to treatment. The procedure is virtually pain free and reshapes your gum line quickly, with minimal time for recovery. Afterwards, the length of your teeth will be immediately and noticeably longer and you’ll be able to show off a larger, more natural smile.

What is traditional crown lengthening and what does the procedure involve?

Crown lengthening usually takes about one hour, but it mostly depends on how many teeth are involved and whether or not a small amount of bone will have to be removed. Even if only one tooth is affected, it is often necessary for the dentist to adjust the surrounding teeth as well to allow thorough and even reshaping.

The procedure involves a series of small incisions around the tissue to separate the gums from the teeth. Generally, only a local anesthetic is necessary. Once your dentist determines that the affected teeth are sufficiently exposed, the incisions will be cleaned with sterile water before sutures and a protective bandage are placed over the area for further support during the healing process. You will have to see your doctor again after 1-2 weeks for a checkup and to have your sutures removed. Overall, it will take about 2-3 months for the surgical site to heal completely. However, your teeth will look noticeably longer immediately after the surgery, and you can show off your new, healthy smile as soon as you leave the office.



This page has been reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. Ryan Lehr, a partner at MPDG and a graduate of Creighton University School of Dentistry. Click here to follow him on Linkedin.

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