Crown Lengthening

Have you noticed that when you smile, you tend to show slightly too much gum? It is a common problem and is called a “gummy smile.” Ideally, when you smile, you should show very little gum tissue, just enough to frame your teeth evenly. Usually, we can treat a gummy smile with a straightforward procedure called crown lengthening.

What Is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is a short procedure that removes excess gum tissue as often the teeth underneath are exactly the right length. Precisely removing excess gum, creates a healthy-looking and more balanced smile. Some people only need one or to teeth treated, while other times, it may be necessary to remove a small amount of gum tissue that is covering multiple teeth.

We also use crown lengthening for other reasons, for example, if you break a tooth close to the gum line. With this type of accident, there may not be enough tooth left to crown it properly, so exposing more of the tooth allows us to place a dental crown safely. When we can fit a crown properly, it helps to protect your oral health and feels more comfortable.

What Is the Procedure for Crown Lengthening

We will need to examine your teeth and gums to determine the reason why you have a gummy smile. While it is most likely due to an excess of gum tissue covering your teeth, sometimes it may be caused by an overactive muscle in your lips, so that when you smile your lips move too far upwards, exposing too much gum. Also, occasionally it’s necessary to reshape the bone around teeth as well as the gums.

If we determine a crown lengthening procedure is appropriate, we can plan your procedure carefully. It is important to ensure we remove only the excess gum, carefully recontouring your gums, so you show precisely the right amount of tooth when you smile. The procedure is completed using local anaesthesia to keep you comfortable. Once the area is numb, our dentist will remove excess gum and bone if needed.

When the anaesthesia wears off, you might feel some slight discomfort, and you must take care when cleaning your mouth. There is no need to worry as we will discuss how to look after your mouth and may provide a special mouth rinse or other medication to help your gums heal. As they heal, you will see that your gums now frame your teeth beautifully.

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