Crown lengthening is used to improve the health of the gum tissue, prepare your mouth for restorative or cosmetic procedures, or to correct a gummy smile (where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue). A crown lengthening procedure will reshape your excess gum to expose the actual, longer shape of your natural teeth. This treatment can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth, or the entire gum line based on your individual needs.
A “gummy smile” is when the gum line appears to be creeping down over the teeth, causing them to appear shorter than they actually are. If you’ve always thought that you had small teeth and big gums, it may just be that the gums are covering your normal-length teeth.
If you’re happy with your tooth shape but your gum line appears uneven, the procedure can also be performed on teeth to improve symmetry and create a smile that you’re happy with.
If your teeth are decayed, damaged at, or below, your gum line, or there isn’t enough tooth structure for a crown, Dr. Angart may recommend a crown lengthening procedure to expose more of the natural tooth and adjust the gum level so it can be restored with a crown or a veneer.
The procedure itself is very straightforward, and there is often little to no postoperative discomfort. The healing process involves sutures and a protective bandage, but those are removed after one to two weeks. If the procedure is done in preparation for a crown, a temporary crown can be placed two weeks after surgery to protect the exposed root and let it heal before placing a permanent crown. Dr. Angart will wait about eight weeks after the crown lengthening procedure before taking final impressions to make sure the gum and teeth have settled in their final positions.