Crown Lengthening

Why would I need crown lengthening?

Crown lengthening is usually performed to improve the health of the gum tissue, prepare the mouth for a procedure, or correct a “gummy smile”. A “gummy smile” is used to describe an instance where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue resulting in a less esthetically-pleasing smile. The procedure involves reshaping or recontouring the gum tissue and bone around the tooth in question to create a new gum-to–tooth relationship. Crown lengthening can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth, or the entire gum line.

Crown lengthening is often required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration. The edge of that decay or fracture is below the gum tissue and not immediately accessible. It is also usually too close to the bone or below the bone.

Crown lengthening allows us to reach the edge of the decay or fracture, ensuring a proper fit of the restoration. It should also provide enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come loose in the future. This allows you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent decay and gum disease.

About the Crown Lengthening Procedure

Crown lengthening takes approximately one hour but will largely depend on the number of teeth involved and if any bone recontouring will be needed. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic and involves a series of small incisions.

When Dr. David Jerud or Dr. Lorraine Jerud is satisfied that the teeth have sufficient exposure and the procedure is completed, sutures and a protective bandage are placed to help secure the new gum-to-tooth relationship. Your teeth will look longer immediately after surgery because the gums have now been repositioned. You will need to be seen in one or two weeks to remove the sutures and evaluate your healing. The surgical site should be completely healed in approximately six to eight weeks following the procedure.