While you may be unfamiliar with the term crown lengthening, this highly common dental procedure may be needed to help you achieve your smile goals. Often used alongside a dental crown or bridge placement, crown lengthening exposes more natural tooth material. This treatment can also address a gummy smile, where the teeth appear shorter than they actually are.
At 209 NYC Dental, we use crown lengthening as part of our commitment to provide our Manhattan patients with complete, coordinated, multispecialty dental services under one roof.
What Is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a dental surgery involving removing excess gum and bone tissue to expose more of the tooth’s crown. Your dentist then sculpts the gumline to give your new smile just the right look. This procedure may be performed on one tooth to prepare it for a crown. Or, you may also need it for several teeth to expose a more broad, natural-looking smile.
Purposes of a Crown Lengthening Procedure
Your dentist may recommend crown lengthening for two main purposes — restorative or cosmetic reasons.
Restorative Crown Lengthening
Dental crowns are a type of restoration in which a dental cap is placed over a damaged tooth. Crowns also support a dental bridge that replaces one or more missing teeth. If there is not enough tooth for a crown, your dentist may recommend a crown lengthening procedure to support the dental crown or bridge. Your tooth may not have enough surface area to support a crown for several reasons:
- The tooth is broken at the gumline.
- The gumline extends too far.
- The tooth structure is not strong enough.
- A previous crown or filling has fallen off, leading to decay.
Cosmetic Crown Lengthening
If you feel as though your gums are the only things on display when you smile, you may feel self-conscious. A gummy smile, also called excessive gingival display, occurs when the teeth appear smaller or the gums seem more prominent. This excess gum tissue can be managed with a cosmetic crown lengthening. We can also use this procedure to address uneven gumlines.
Crown Lengthening Surgery
We perform crown lengthening as an outpatient surgical procedure at our dental practice. This means you can go home and recuperate afterward. The time needed to complete the procedure depends on the number of teeth requiring crown lengthening, as well as if you need removal of both gum tissue and bone.
Most patients receive local anesthesia and remain awake throughout the entire procedure. You may receive a sedative as well. Your dentist will use an incision to pull the gum tissue away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth’s crown. In some cases, only the soft gum tissue will be removed. However, other patients may also require bone removal. Once the process is complete, the area is sanitized and sutured, and a bandage is placed for additional protection.
While you may feel some pain once the anesthesia wears off, pain relievers — as well as a specialized mouth rinse — can promote a comfortable healing process.
Contact 209 NYC Dental to Find Out If Crown Lengthening Is Right for You
Every smile is different. Some people are born with more gum tissue. If you do not feel great about your smile, schedule your free consultation at 209 NYC Dental today. As the oldest continuing practice in New York State, we have a proud legacy of providing compassionate dental care that addresses a multitude of oral health issues. We can help you determine if crown lengthening is right for you. Contact us today to learn more.
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