Crown Lengthening

Smiling female patient waiting in the dentist's chair for a dental procedure.

Crown lengthening is often done to enhance the condition of the gums or to get the mouth ready for aesthetic or restorative treatment. Crown lengthening treatments can also be used to fix a “gummy” smile, in which the teeth are hidden by too much gum tissue. By reshaping or recontouring bone and gum tissue, crown lengthening increases the amount of the natural tooth that is exposed. One tooth, many teeth, or the entire gum line may be treated with this procedure to reveal a beautiful smile.

The Benefits of Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is a widely used treatment with various practical applications and advantages. The outcomes of this sort of surgery are quite pleasing to the vast majority of patients. Crown lengthening is most commonly done for the following reasons:


  • Tooth restoration for broken teeth. The teeth can suffer significant harm from trauma, decay, and periodontal disease. Crown lengthening can be done to prepare the region for a new restoration to repair teeth that have been cracked below the gum line.


  • Cosmetic purposes: In addition to making teeth appear abnormally small, more gum tissue can leave people more vulnerable to periodontal diseases. The balance and health of the smile can be restored as well as its cosmetic appeal by removing extra gum tissue.


  • Dental crowns: Crown lengthening creates additional room between the dental crown and the supporting jawbone. This guards against the new crown’s eventual damage to bone and gum tissues.

What Happens During Crown Lengthening?

A local anesthetic is typically used during crown lengthening procedures. The length of time required for this surgery is mostly determined by the number of teeth affected and whether a little bit of bone must be removed in addition to the soft tissue. Dental crowns that already exist will be taken out before the treatment and replaced right after.


To pull the gums away from the teeth, our periodontist will make a series of tiny incisions all around the soft tissue. Neighboring teeth are typically treated to give a more equal shape, even if only one tooth has to be recontoured. Our periodontist can reach the underlying bone and the teeth’s roots by separating the gums.


It may be possible to install a crown on a tooth in some circumstances with just a minimal amount of tissue excision. Other times, the periodontist will also have to remove a little bit of bone from the area surrounding the teeth. A mix of rotary and specialized hand devices are often used to remove the bone. The rotary devices are similar to the drills used in cavity repair.


As a result of the gums being relocated, the teeth will appear noticeably longer right away after surgery.


An intraoral (periodontal) bandage will be used by the periodontist to protect the surgical site from infection. In addition to painkiller prescriptions, chlorhexidine mouthwash may be recommended to assist prevent germs from trying to reoccupy. In around two to three months, the surgical site will be fully recovered.


Please call our office to set up an appointment with Dr. Elliott Weidman if you have any questions regarding crown lengthening.

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