What is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is sometimes necessary in order to improve restorative and cosmetic dentistry outcomes. Excess bone and gum tissue is removed around the tooth to make short teeth longer, expose cavities below the gum line to save the tooth, or increase the amount of space needed for dental crowns and veneers. There are two types: functional and esthetic.

Functional Crown lengthening

Functional Crown lengthening may also be recommended by your dentist to make a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure possible. If you wish to save a tooth that is badly decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration, this procedure is required to keep your tooth healthy. There has to be at least 2 mm of tissue space between your bone levels and the bottom of a filling or crown. Not having this amount of space can lead to inflammation and tooth loss. This lack of space between the jawbone and the crown or restoration margin is known as biologic width violation. Crown lengthening is completed by rolling back the gum tissue, removing some bone around the affected tooth with a surgical drill and then replacing the gum tissue at a lower level to make the tooth look longer or lengthened. The ultimate goal of this procedure is to increase the length of the tooth to allow an adequate restoration of the tooth thereby saving the tooth.

Esthetic Crown lengthening

Esthetic crown lengthening is used to expose natural teeth covered by excessive gum tissue. When you smile, you may notice that your gums are very noticeable or you notice a ”gummy smile”. Crown lengthening can be completed to expose your natural teeth and leave you with a more natural and beautiful smile.

The gum tissue is removed to the cemento-enamel junction or the line where the root surface meets the enamel surface. The gum tissue is contoured to achieve an esthetically pleasing look. Once the gums have been contoured to an appropriate level, the gum tissue is lifted back and the underlying bone is also contoured to prevent regrowth of the gum tissue.

With this procedure, patients say they have little if any pain, but are immediately satisfied with the results. Please contact our Dallas, Irving Keller, and Fort Worth periodontists at PerioLife to see if you are a candidate for esthetic crown lengthening or cosmetic dental surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an age restriction?

This procedure of bone removal can only be completed once bodily growth has been completed. The procedure is recommended in teenagers over 16 or adults. If excess gum tissue is a problem before full growth has been achieved, a gingivectomy (removal of only gum tissue) is recommended.

What Should I Expect After the Crown Lengthening Procedure?

If you are having a crown lengthening, you will be put under local anesthesia so that you will not feel any pain during the procedure. Your periodontist will then trim the gum and expose your tooth to its normal, natural size. Discomfort is typically minimal after the procedure. If any sutures are placed, they will typically dissolve in a week.

How long does it take to recover from crown lengthening?

The complete recovery time for the crown lengthening procedure is approximately three months. However, you'll be able to resume normal functions as your gums heal in the first week.

What is the difference between Crown Lengthening and a Gingivectomy?

Crown Lengthening is a periodontal treatment used to remove excess gum tissue and possibly bone around the teeth to lengthen the visible enamel and tooth structure. A gingivectomy is a similar procedure in which bone does not need to be removed for the same results. There are different uses for each of these treatment modalities and thus should be discussed with your PerioLife Periodontist.

When to do Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is recommended for an array of dental conditions. The most common conditions requiring crown lengthening are: teeth that are too short, tooth decay that is severe below the gum line, or a broken or fractured tooth beneath the gum line.

 
For any questions regarding crown lengthening, contact your PerioLife periodontists in Dallas, Irving, Fort Worth or Keller offices.