Crown lengthening is usually performed to improve the health of the gum tissue, prepare the mouth for a procedure, or correct a “gummy smile”. The procedure involves reshaping or recontouring 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. When decay occurs below the gumline or a tooth has fractured off below the gumline, it may be necessary to remove a small amount of bone and gum tissue in order to expose enough healthy tooth structure to facilitate the placement of a high quality restoration. Your dentist may ask for this procedure before he or she makes a new crown for your tooth. 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 Dr. Goggin 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 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. 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, removal of a small amount of bone will be necessary as well.