What is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that purposely lengthens a tooth, by removing some of its bone and gum. It may be carried out for either functional or esthetic reasons.
Why would I need Crown Lengthening?
Function: This surgical procedure is recommended if there is not enough healthy tooth structure above the gum. By changing the bone level and exposing more of the tooth structure, a tooth can be properly restored with a crown or other restoration.
Esthetics: This procedure can improve a gummy smile of the front teeth. By changing the bone level around the teeth in question and subsequently changing the levels of the gums, an esthetic improvement is achieved.
What are my risks?
Risks associated with local anesthetic, bleeding, bruising, swelling and infection are all possible complications. Tooth sensitivity, exposure of adjacent tooth structure and exposure of restoration margins may also occur.
What are my alternatives?
You may elect to remove the tooth that cannot be properly restored without crown lengthening. The tooth will then likely need to be replaced. An alternative to crown lengthening might be to orthodontically move the tooth into the mouth.
What if I elect not to have Crown Lengthening?
If you elect not to have crown lengthening for functional reasons, the result may be premature loss of the tooth. This procedure may be necessary to achieve your esthetic objectives if the goal is to improve a gummy smile.