Crown lengthening is a simple surgical procedure where the position of the gum around a tooth is adjusted to expose more of the tooth structure. If a tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient crown height; there might not be enough tooth structure available to accommodate restoration procedures, such as a crown or bridge. In these instances, crown lengthening surgery may be necessary in order to provide more tooth structure for your dentist to work with.
Before the surgery takes place, your doctor may fit your tooth with a temporary crown. This protects the tooth and gives an estimate of how much gum tissue and/or bone needs to be removed. Most people receive local anesthesia for the procedure, and possible sedation as well. The gums are then cut and pulled away from the teeth, exposing the roots and bone. The area is washed with salt water before suturing. Once the gums have been sutured back together, the surgeon may place a bandage over the area for additional protection.