When a tooth requires a filling or a crown, but doesn’t have enough tooth structure to support it, a crown lengthening may be required to expose more tooth. Lack of tooth surface could happen as a result of breaking a tooth close to the gum line or decay reaching down to the gum.
If the tooth in question requires a dental crown, a temporary crown may be placed before the lengthening procedure is performed.
For a crown lengthening, we typically use local anesthetics before removing gum and bone. Even if only one tooth needs a filling or dental crown, your neighboring teeth may also need treatment. Once enough tooth is exposed, the area will be cleaned and sterilized, and then bandages may be applied over the sutures.
You will need approximately three months to heal before your permanent crown can be placed.
Crown lengthening can also be used to remedy a “gummy smile”. When you have too much tissue covering your teeth, the excess can be removed to make you teeth look longer and more prominent. This procedure can also be used to smooth out small patches of uneven gums.
The time required for the treatment depends on how much gum tissue needs to be removed. Immediately after the surgery your smile will look bigger - with less gum and more tooth.