Crown lengthening is a dental procedure to expose more of the tooth structure by removing excess gum tissue and, in some cases, bone. At First Smile Family Dental, it is typically done to prepare the tooth for restorative or cosmetic treatments when there is not enough tooth structure visible above the gum line. Crown lengthening primarily aims to increase the visible tooth structure above the gumline. This can be necessary when a tooth is decayed, fractured, or broken near or below the gum line, preventing proper restoration or crown placement. Crown lengthening allows for better access to the tooth structure, facilitating effective dental treatments.
Crown lengthening is typically recommended for individuals with a "gummy smile," where excess gum tissue covers a significant portion of the teeth. It may also be necessary when not enough tooth structure is visible to support a dental restoration, such as a crown or bridge. Additionally, crown lengthening may be performed in cases where a tooth has fractured near or below the gum line and requires restoration.
The Benefits of Crown Lengthening
By exposing more of the tooth structure, crown lengthening can enhance the smile's appearance, creating a more balanced and proportionate look.
Crown lengthening provides sufficient tooth structure above the gum line, making it easier for dental restorations, such as dental crowns or bridges, to be placed securely and effectively.
Better Oral Hygiene
Excessive gum tissue can make cleaning the teeth and gums challenging. Crown lengthening allows for better access to the tooth surface, improving oral hygiene and reducing the risk of periodontal disease.
By improving the smile's aesthetics, crown lengthening can boost self-confidence and self-esteem.
The Procedure for Crown Lengthening
The area around the tooth to be treated is numbed using local anesthesia to ensure patient comfort during the procedure. The periodontist or oral surgeon carefully removes excess gum tissue to expose more of the tooth structure. Sometimes, a small amount of bone may be removed to achieve the desired outcome. After removing the tissue and bone, the dentist reshapes and contours the remaining gum tissue to create a harmonious and natural-looking gum line. The incisions made during the procedure are then closed with sutures.
The healing process typically takes a few weeks. During this time, the gums heal, and the desired amount of tooth structure becomes visible. Follow-up visits may be scheduled to remove sutures and monitor the healing progress.
Individuals with excessive gum tissue covering their teeth, making them appear short or disproportionate, may be suitable candidates for crown lengthening. To learn more about crown lengthening, visit First Smile Family Dental at 32717 1st Ave S., Suite 9, Federal Way, WA 98003, or call (253) 785-7323.