Crown lengthening is a procedure designed to expose more of a tooth’s surface due to a cavity below the gum line that is not accessible for your dentist to remove. By pushing down the gum line, we can create access for your dentist to properly remove the decay and restore your tooth. Crown lengthening can serve both functional and aesthetic purposes for the tooth.

Here’s a look at everything you need to know about the procedure—and when it might be necessary or recommended by your dentist.

Crown lengthening may be necessary or recommended in several situations:

  • Restorative dentistry: Crown lengthening is often performed to make more of a tooth’s structure visible and accessible when a tooth needs a dental crown or filling. It ensures that there is enough tooth above the gumline for the restoration to properly fit and adhere.
  • Aesthetic concerns: Sometimes, excessive gum tissue can make teeth appear short or disproportionate. Aesthetic or cosmetic crown lengthening can help create a more harmonious and pleasing smile by exposing more of the tooth’s surface.
  • Tooth decay or fractures below the gumline: When a tooth has decay or a fracture that extends below the gumline, crown lengthening may be necessary to access and treat the affected area.
  • A “gummy” smile: In some cases, individuals may have a gummy smile, where an excessive amount of gum tissue is visible when they smile. Crown lengthening can help reduce the gum-to-tooth ratio and improve the smile’s appearance.

The crown lengthening procedure typically involves numbing the area with local anesthesia, making incisions in the gum tissue to access the tooth’s root, and removing excess gum tissue and, if necessary, some bone. After the procedure, the area is stitched up, and patients are given post-operative care instructions.

Benefits of Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening offers several benefits, both from a functional and aesthetic perspective. These benefits include:

  • Improved restoration fit: Crown lengthening allows for more of the tooth’s structure to be exposed above the gumline. This is crucial for the proper fit and retention of dental restorations such as crowns, fillings, and bridges. Ensuring a stable and secure fit reduces the risk of complications and enhances the longevity of the restoration.
  • Enhanced aesthetics: One of the primary reasons for crown lengthening is to improve the appearance of the smile. By exposing more of the tooth’s surface and reducing the prominence of gum tissue, crown lengthening can create a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing smile. It can also help address the issue of a “gummy smile” by reducing excessive gum exposure when smiling.
  • Better oral hygiene: Crown lengthening can make it easier for individuals to maintain good oral hygiene. Exposed tooth surfaces are easier to clean with regular brushing and flossing, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and gum disease.
  • Preserving tooth structure: In some cases, crown lengthening can help preserve a tooth that might otherwise need extraction due to extensive decay or fractures below the gumline. By exposing more of the tooth, it may be possible to restore and save it.

The Crown Lengthening Procedure Process

Crown lengthening is a relatively short and non-invasive procedure, meaning patients can typically go home as soon as the surgery is finished. Most of the time, a periodontist will perform under local anesthesia.

After the area is numbed with a local anesthetic, Dr. Alireza Khansari will make small incisions with a laser to push the gums away from the teeth and expose the tooth structure. Using an Erbium laser makes the procedure smooth, along with less pain and sensitivity. In most cases, since the laser is acting as a hemostatic agent, no suture is required.

Fortunately, healing from crown lengthening only takes two to three days. To make sure everything has healed properly, we will typically book a follow-up appointment for one to two weeks after the crown lengthening procedure has been completed.

Typically, patients should avoid strenuous activities, hard foods, and other things that might irritate the gums and teeth and cause them to bleed for the first few days. Patients may notice tooth and gum sensitivity for days after the procedure, but this is normal as your gums are still in the healing process.

Potential Complications from Crown Lengthening

Fortunately, crown lengthening is a routine and safe procedure. It’s essential to follow all postoperative care instructions provided to help prevent any complications after the procedure. As with any surgical procedure, however, there are some minimal risks involved, including possible bleeding, soreness, and sensitivity.

Why Choose Poway Perio for Your Crown Lengthening Procedure?

If you’re having periodontal issues, it’s essential to choose the right crown lengthening specialist for your needs. Here at Poway Perio, our years of experience in the dental field make us the perfect solution for your needs. We are passionate about helping you fight gum disease and restore your oral health with crown-lengthening procedures and more.

If you have more questions or would like to book a consultation, we’re happy to discuss your situation. Just give us a call at 858-679-0142.