Crown lengthening (or crown exposure) is required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration. The edge of that restoration is deep below the gum tissue and not accessible. It is also usually too close to the bone or below the bone.
The procedure involves adjusting the level of the gum tissue and bone around the tooth in question to create a new gum-to-tooth relationship. This 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. The procedure takes approximately one hour.
When the procedure is completed, sutures, and a protective bandage are placed to help secure the new gum-to-tooth relationship. You will need to be seen in one or two weeks to remove the sutures and evaluate your healing.
Types of Crown Lengthening Procedures
Crown lengthening is the procedure used to improve the esthetic or function of your smile. There are two types of crown lengthening. The first method is called esthetic crown lengthening.
Esthetic Crown Lengthening
This technique is used to improve a gummy smile. Soft tissue and bone are augmented and removed to expose more of the teeth, thus “lengthening” the teeth, to create a wider, fuller smile. Esthetic crown lengthening can be performed on one tooth, but is commonly used to improve your entire smile.
The second method of crown lengthening is called functional crown lengthening.
Functional Crown Lengthening
This method is used in order to complete a cosmetic or restorative procedure. Sometimes, if a tooth has too much tooth decay present, is broken below the gum line, or is without enough structure to properly support a restoration, gum tissue will need to be removed in order for the tooth to receive the restoration. The gums will be trimmed and reshaped along with your jaw bone to allow for a successful outcome when restoring a structurally compromised tooth.