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When it comes to your smile, your healthy gums are every bit as important as having healthy teeth. One of the ways we can improve your smile is by performing a crown lengthening treatment to restore healthy gum tissue as well as prep your mouth for a dental restoration or other cosmetic procedures. One of the biggest benefits of having crown lengthening done is that we can fix your “gummy” smile, a fairly common oral condition where your pearly whites have too much gum tissue visible over the teeth when you smile, potentially making you self-conscious about flashing a big smile.

Why Choose Crown Lengthening?

A crown lengthening will reveal a greater amount of your tooth’s natural appearance, as it reshapes both bone and gum tissue. Whether you have one or many (or all of the gumline) that need reshaping, a crown lengthening can bring back your appealing smile.

Our periodontist can restore your smile with crown lengthening by fixing teeth that have been harmed by periodontal disease (an advanced version of gingivitis) that can leave your teeth and gums in bad shape. Crowns are simply tooth-shaped caps that are made to cover a natural tooth that either looks bad or isn’t structurally sound. For instance, crowns are excellent options for repairing a cracked, broken, or misshapen tooth. They also complete dental bridges, root canals and dental implant restorations.

A crown lengthening can protect teeth that are broken underneath the gum line so they can support a dental restoration. Or let’s say your teeth look short because of excess gum tissue, which also makes you more vulnerable to gum infection. By taking out that extra tissue, we can make your smile look great again. Crown lengthening can also give you enough space between a dental crown and the supportive jawbone below so the new crown won’t hurt your gum tissues and bone.

What a Crown Lengthening Looks Like

Before you have your surgical appointment, you will meet with our periodontist so we can review your medical history and assess your dental condition with the help of dental X-rays. This is the time to let us know what medications you are currently on as in some cases we may ask you to stop taking them before the procedure.

Crown lengthening is basically an outpatient procedure, and you will be able to return home once it is done. You’ll be made comfortable with the help of a local anesthetic and possibly a sedative if needed. Our periodontist will make an incision in the gums so they can be moved apart from your teeth, allowing access to the tooth roots and bone beneath.

For some, we may only need to take out the gum tissue. Depending on how many teeth we will be working on or if a tiny bit of bone will be taken out with the soft tissue will determine the length of time the treatment will take. Our periodontist will need to take out the current dental crown and then replace it right after the crown lengthening. Before suturing the area, we will clean it and stitch up the gums.

Post-Operative Care

You will be given post-surgery instructions that you will need to follow for healing. For example, you may want to take some anti-inflammatories or pain relievers and use an oral rinse to promote healing in your gums. A cold compress can also help with swelling and pain relief. Stick to liquids and soft foods while your gums heal, and rinse well after you have your meals. Using the recommended mouthwash or salt water rinse at least twice a day can promote healing.

If your gum line is uneven and your teeth look too thin, making your smile look less appealing, a crown lengthening might just be the perfect solution for you. We hope this information helps you get the relief you deserve to smile again with confidence and greater oral health!