Crown Lengthening

People who have a “gummy” smile are afflicted by an appearance that has 'too little teeth' and 'too much gum'. A procedure called crown lengthening is performed to reshape gums and bone tissue. This is done to expose more of the teeth underneath.

In some cases, dentists perform crown lengthening as part of more complex procedure that entails bridge and crown work. For example, a tooth may need to be “lengthened” to make a bridge or crown procedure more effective if a tooth has decay that goes down below the gumline (approaching the bone level). Crown lengthening may be needed before your dentist can place a restoration. This is because between the gums and the bone there is a zone of connective tissue that a filling or a crown cannot begin or end in. If this happen and the connective tissue zone is breached, the gums may experience chronic inflammation and lead to eventual bone loss or loss of the tooth altogether. In this case, it is best to have a crown lengthening procedure done before the filling or crown in placed.

Most of the time, your dentist will work with a specialist called periodontist who performs the procedure.