Crown Lengthening

Are you unhappy with your appearance because your teeth appear too short or you have a “gummy smile?” This can often be the result of excessive wear to the teeth or a partial coverage of the natural crowns by the gum tissues. A beautiful smile begins with the proper proportions to the upper front teeth. Esthetic crown lengthening can alter the amount of gum tissue exposed by your smile and reveal a more appealing, natural appearance, to create a “Hollywood smile.”

If I have a “gummy smile” and wish to have that corrected, what is involved in an esthetic crown lengthening?

A surgical procedure is performed to remove the excess gum tissue, revealing a longer, more harmonious appearance to the upper teeth in the esthetic zone. The amount of gum tissue removed will depend on your smile line and extend to the back teeth to create a smooth gradual curve to the smile. This will also require a small amount of bone contouring around the front teeth to accept the change in the gum tissue level and allow for a healthy and beautiful smile.

Pictures of before and after esthetic crown lengthening case

crown lengthing before   crown lengthing after

What about crown lengthening to allow my general dentist to attach a crown?

When a tooth has deep decay or a crack below the gum line, it will require exposing sound tooth structure to be properly restored. Your restorative dentist will recommend a surgical crown lengthening procedure to accomplish this prior to making the final restoration. This allows the restorative dentist to place a full coverage crown with enough room for healthy gum tissue.

When I have a cracked tooth or deep decay, why can’t my dentist just restore the tooth with a deeper restoration below the gum line?

The gum tissue health around a tooth is dependent on a width from the bone level up to the restoration of about 3 millimeters. This zone must be provided, even when decay extends well below the gum line, to prevent gum infection and further bone loss. To accomplish that result, a surgical procedure to create the “biologic width” is performed.

After an appropriate period of healing, the restorative dentist can complete the new crown preparation and ensure a healthy long-term result.

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