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 aesthetically-pleasing smile. The procedure involves reshaping or re-contouring 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 restoration is deep 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 restoration, ensuring a proper fit to the tooth. 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.
Crown lengthening usually takes approximately one hour, but will largely depend on the amount of teeth involved and if any amount of bone will need to be removed. The procedure involves a series of small incisions around the tissue to separate the gums from the teeth. Even if only one tooth requires the procedure, it will probably be necessary to adjust the surrounding teeth to enable a more even reshaping. In some cases, extraction of a small amount of bone will be necessary as well.
When Dr. Owens is satisfied that the teeth have sufficient exposure and the procedure is completed, the incisions will be cleaned with sterile water. Sutures and a protective bandage are then placed to help secure the new gum-to-tooth relationship. Your teeth will look noticeably 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 site should be completely healed in approximately six weeks to three months following the procedure.
If you’re interested in a crown lengthening procedure, talk to Dr. Owens to learn more and get a personalized consultation. We serve Round Rock, Cedar Park and nearby areas, so contact us online or by calling (512) 341-2321 today!