Do Your Crowns Need Lengthening?

Do you have a gummy smile? A gummy smile means that you see too much gum tissue and not enough teeth. Excessive gingival tissue can make your teeth look too short and stubby when you smile, laugh, or talk. Crown lengthening can improve a gummy smile. Crown lengthening can also be done to prepare your mouth for other dental procedures, or to remove unhealthy gum tissue. Do you think your crowns need lengthening?  

What Is Crown Lengthening?

The crown of your tooth is the part of the tooth that we see above the gum. If you do not have enough tooth showing it can look displeasing when you talk or smile. Therefore, your tooth crown can be lengthened by removing, reshaping, and recontouring your gingival tissue, and bone if required.  You may only need the crown lengthened on one tooth, or you may need your crowns lengthened on more than one or even all of them.

How It’s Done

If you have prosthetic crowns, they will need to be removed before the procedure and replaced afterward; otherwise the following steps will be taken:

  • Your dentist will provide a local anesthetic to numb the area.
  • Small incisions will be made in the gingival tissue.
  • The tissue will be separated and removed from the teeth.
  • If removal of bone is required, it will be done with a special rotary instrument.
  • The incisions will be sterilized and sutured.
  • An intraoral bandage will be used to secure the surgical area and prevent infection.
  • Your dentist may prescribe pain medication and a special antimicrobial mouthwash as after-treatment.

Although it may take up to three months for the surgical area to heal, the results are immediate. Your teeth will look noticeably longer and you will have a fresh, aesthetically pleasing smile.