What Is a Crown Lengthening?


What Is a Crown Lengthening Procedure?

Crown lengthening is generally performed in order to improve the health of the gum tissue, or to prepare the mouth for restorative or cosmetic procedures.  In addition, crown lengthening procedures can also be used to correct a “gummy” smile, where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue.  Crown lengthening exposes more of the natural tooth by reshaping bone and gum tissue.

The Purpose of a Crown Lengthening Procedure

The purpose of a crown lengthening procedure is designed to reshape the gums at the base of the desired tooth in order to expose additional tooth surface, and if necessary, adjust the bone level in order extend the height or size of the portion of the tooth that is visible above the gumline so that your new restoration has enough tooth structure to hold it in place.

How to Prepare for a Crown Lengthening

With prior visits to your periodontist and X rays of your complete mouth, you will be the prepared for the crown lengthening procedure.

What Happens During a Crown Lengthening Procedure?

Before your periodontist begins the crown lengthening procedure, he will numb the area with a local anesthetic. He will then remove a small amount of gum tissue, contouring it to create a beautiful, even smile. If needed, he will gently remove bone tissue to ensure that enough tooth is exposed to properly place a crown.

Possible Risks

The risks of crown lengthening are the same as those for any periodontal procedure. They include swelling, discomfort, post-op bleeding, infection, sensitivity of tooth and the tooth appearing a bit longer after restoration. In reality, the risks are minimal for the benefit of maintaining the tooth.

The Recovery Process

Do not eat or drink anything until the local anesthesia wears off to avoid biting or burning the inside of your mouth or tongue. Eat soft foods and avoid brushing the gums in the area. Then the stiches will be removed in 7-10 days and the wound will be healed in about 3 months before the tooth is prepared for the final crown.