There are two different situations that crown lengthening would be beneficial. Functional Crown Lengthening and Esthetic Crown Lengthening
Sometimes a cavity, filling, or crack in the tooth can extend deep under the gums where a dentist can’t reach, or a crown can’t fit healthily. Or sometimes, the tooth breaks off at the gum line, and there’s not enough tooth structure left for the dentist to repair it. In these cases, your dentist may refer you to a Periodontist for a procedure called Crown Lengthening.
Crown Lengthening is a tooth-saving effort where the periodontist removes a small amount of gum and jaw bone around the tooth, exposing more of the tooth and root, effectively “lengthening” it. This gives the dentist more access and tooth structure to repair the tooth and give it a longer life.
Many patients will ask themselves, “is it worth it? Why don’t I take out the tooth?” This is an option, but at Periodontal Specialists, we believe that maintaining your natural teeth leads to a happy, healthy quality of life. There are bridges & implants to replace a missing space, but none of these things are as good as your natural teeth. If you’re a good candidate for crown lengthening, it’s always worth trying to save your natural tooth.
We know a procedure can sound scary, but crown lengthening is a simple procedure with very little discomfort when performed by a specialist like Dr. Wolfe or Dr. Johnson, who often perform this procedure.
During Functional Crown Lengthening, your periodontist will reduce the length of the gums so that the appropriate amount of tooth is visible in the mouth and accessible to your dentist for repair.
We usually accomplish this by gently reflecting the gum tissue away from the tooth, moving it to the appropriate level, and then adding some tiny dissolvable stitches to keep the gums in place as they heal over the next few days.
This procedure is small and can be done with local anesthetic (novocaine) only. It will make you more comfortable, and bring a driver with a light anti-anxiety pill — what we call oral conscious sedation.
If your dentist refers you for Functional Crown Lengthening, Dr. Wolfe or Dr. Johnson will meet with you, perform an examination, and evaluate if you are a good candidate for this procedure & discuss with you all your options.
Do you have a gummy smile? Our periodontists are specialists who have expertise in correcting gummy smiles and can help give patients a smile they’ve always wanted.
For people who are unhappy with their smiles or feel they have a “gummy smile,” Cosmetic Crown Lengthening can make a world of difference.
When teeth appear short or uneven, or many gums are showing when smiling, it’s because there is too much gum tissue covering the teeth. People can sometimes feel this is unsightly and try not to smile because of it.
During the crown lengthening procedure, the excess gum tissue is removed. The underlying bone is precisely contoured to expose more of the natural tooth, creating longer teeth and a more attractive smile. This procedure creates better symmetry and balance, enhancing your natural smile.
The best part? While it requires periodontal expertise & training, it is a surprisingly simple procedure for the patient with no pain & same-day results. It’s instant gratification! And one of the most rewarding procedures we can do. This is an effortless cosmetic procedure with incredible changes you can see that very same day!