Cosmetic Crown Lengthening for Gummy Smiles

This periodontal procedure is designed to expose more tooth structure prior to cosmetic dentistry and/or to improve the esthetics of your gum line. A gummy smile is apparent when the gum line appears to be creeping down over the teeth, making them appear short. If your teeth appear small and your smile seems gummy, your teeth may actually be the proper length, but hiding under too much bone and gum tissue. A crown lengthening procedure will reshape your excess gum and bone, exposing the shape of the natural tooth.

Esthetic crown lengthening can also be performed on teeth to even out your gum line. This will improve symmetry and create a more pleasing smile. If your teeth are decayed, fractured at or below the gum line, or have insufficient tooth structure for a new crown retention, a crown lengthening procedure may be recommended to adjust the gum and bone level and expose more of the natural tooth so it can be restored with a crown or a veneer.

smile
smile
smile

tooth

Short clinical crown is cosmetically unpleasing.

tooth

After crown lengthening, a new crown results in a beautiful smile.


smiles

Before Crown Lengthening

smile

After Crown Lengthening


smiles

Before Crown Lengthening

smile

After Crown Lengthening

Procedure

During this procedure excess gum and bone tissue are reshaped to expose more of your natural teeth, which can significantly enhance periodontal health. Most crown lengthening procedures are very straightforward, and there is little or no post-operative discomfort. Sutures and dressing (a protective bandage) are removed after about 1-2 weeks. A temporary crown can be placed two weeks after surgery if the patient desires to cover the exposed root during the healing period prior to placement of the final crown.

The restorative dentist will wait approximately 8 weeks following cosmetic crown lengthening before taking final impressions. This ensures that the gum, which shrinks slightly as it re-attaches to the tooth during healing, is in its final position.

Crown Lengthening and Restorative Dentistry

When decay or tooth fracture occurs below the gum line, it may be necessary to remove a small amount of bone and gum tissue. Your dentist may refer you to our office for a crown lengthening before he or she makes a new crown or other restoration.

The edge of that restoration is deep below the gum tissue and not accessible. It is also usually too close to the bone or below the bone. Therefore, crown lengthening (or crown exposure) creates a new gum-to-tooth relationship that is appropriate for a healthy mouth. This allows your dentist to remove all decay (cavities) and reach solid tooth structure, ensuring a proper fit of your restoration to the tooth. It should also provide enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come loose in the future. Furthermore, this allows you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to better prevent decay and gum disease.

Procedure

A temporary crown may be placed prior to crown lengthening by your restorative dentist. During a crown lengthening procedure, excess gum and bone tissue are reshaped to expose more of your natural teeth, which will create a new gum-to-tooth relationship that significantly enhances your periodontal health. Most crown lengthening procedures are very straightforward and there is little or no post-operative discomfort. Sutures and dressing (a protective bandage) are removed after 1-2 weeks.

The restorative dentist will wait approximately 4-6 weeks following crown lengthening before taking final impressions for your final crown. This ensures that the gum, which shrinks slightly as it re-attaches to the tooth during healing, is in its final position.

Benefits

Whether you have crown lengthening to improve function or esthetics, the benefits will include both a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health your keys to smiling, eating and speaking with comfort and confidence.