Why would I need crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is usually performed to prepare a tooth for a crown or other restoration, or to correct a “gummy smile”.
A “gummy smile” describes an instance where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue resulting in a less esthetically-pleasing smile. The procedure involves reshaping the gum tissue and possibly even bone around the tooth in question to create a new gum-to–tooth relationship. Crown lengthening can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth, or the entire gum line of the arch.
Crown lengthening may be required when a tooth needs a new crown or other restoration and the edge is deep below the gum tissue and not immediately accessible or if it is too close to or even below the level of the bone.
Crown lengthening allows us to adjust the levels of the gum tissue and bone around the tooth in question to create a new gum-to-tooth relationship. This will help to ensure a proper healthy fit for the new crown or restoration to the tooth and allow you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent decay and gum disease. It may also be done to provide enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come loose in the future.
About the Crown Lengthening Procedure
Crown lengthening takes approximately one hour but will largely depend on the amount of teeth involved and if any amount of bone will need to be removed. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic and with a laser, which is exceptionally conservative compared to conventional ways of performing this procedure without a laser. When Dr. Duboff is satisfied that the teeth have sufficient exposure, a blood clot is formed with the laser sealing the gums back to the tooth, and helping to secure the new gum-to-tooth relationship without the need for sutures. You will need to be seen in one or two weeks to evaluate your healing and start you back to your oral hygiene measures at home. The surgical site should be completely healed in a week to two following the procedure and your general dentist can then comfortably place a new restoration or crown in this site.