Esthetic Crown Lengthening
Crown lengthening is performed to improve the health of the gum tissue or to correct a “gummy smile”. A “gummy smile” is when teeth are covered with an excess amount of gum tissue resulting in the teeth appearing short. The procedure involves reshaping or recontouring the gum tissue and bone to expose more of the natural tooth. Crown lengthening can be performed on a single tooth, multiple teeth or the entire gum line.
Crown lengthening is often required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration. The edge of the restoration is deep below the gum tissue and not immediately accessible. It is also usually too close to the bone or below the bone. The crown lengthening procedure allows us to reach the edge of the restoration and ensures a proper fit to the tooth. It will also provide enough tooth structure so that 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.
The crown lengthening 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 likely be necessary to adjust the surrounding teeth to enable a more even reshaping. In some cases, removal of a small amount of bone will be necessary as well.
When Dr. Yamaoka is satisfied that the teeth have sufficient exposure and the procedure is completed, the incisions will be cleaned with sterile water. Sutures and a protective bandage 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 evaluate your healing. The surgical site should be completely healed in approximately two to three months following the procedure. Depending on the situation, restorative work can be started as soon as six weeks post surgery.