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Crown Lengthening for a Healthier and More Pleasing Smile

Crown Lengthening for a Healthier and More Pleasing Smile

Posted by DR. WEN LU on Oct 22 2021, 03:57 AM

Crown Lengthening for a Healthier and More Pleasing Smile

A person with a gummy smile opts for a crown lengthening procedure to address an excessive gingival display. The process involves removing excess gum tissue and exposing more of the tooth's surface. It is done to increase the length of the clinical crown without disturbing its biological width. Some individuals also choose crown lengthening for cosmetic purposes for an aesthetically pleasing smile. Unlike other dental treatments, a crown lengthening procedure is performed only once.

Objectives of Crown Lengthening

Dentists carry out crown lengthening procedures to:

  • address cosmetic concerns and improve aesthetics 
  • expose fractured areas of the tooth
  • expose underlying cavities
  • expose more tooth structure to fit a restoration, such as a dental bridge

Crown Lengthening Surgery Procedure

Crown lengthening is an outpatient procedure, and the patient can safely go home once it is completed without needing to stay a night in the dental practice. It is generally done with a combination of a sedative and local anesthesia. The duration of surgery depends on the number of teeth to be treated and whether or not the bone and soft tissues have to be removed. 

The periodontist may use a scalpel, laser, or a combination of both tools to pull the gums away from the teeth. In a few cases, only the gum tissues are removed and sutured back together. The complete crown lengthening procedure is pretty simple and takes less than an hour to complete.

Crown Lengthening Techniques

There are three different crown lengthening techniques:

  • Gingivectomy
  • Apically repositioned flap surgery
  • Surgical extrusion

Gingivectomy

Gingivectomy is a painless gum tissue removal using a laser, a scalpel, or electrocautery. The electrocautery process involves the use of an electrically heated instrument. The procedure is conducted after administering you with local anesthesia, which is done to keep you from enduring pain or discomfort.

Apically Repositioned Flap Surgery

This procedure involves making an incision to create a flap of tissue, which is then lifted to remove the extra tissue. It depends on the amount of tooth needed to be exposed. The flap is repositioned and sutured to heal.

Surgical Extrusion

A surgical extrusion procedure is preferred when the tooth beneath the gum is fractured. It involves moving the tooth to the preferred location on the gumline. Usually, dentists use a wire or splint to anchor the tooth.

The choice of the most appropriate technique depends on the cause of the excess gum tissue and the patient's oral health. Major factors that influence the choice of crown lengthening technique include:

  • Aesthetic considerations 
  • Length of the tooth roots compared to the crowns (crown to root ratio)
  • The proximity and appearance of the tooth root
  • The location of the affected tooth
  • Need for a dental filling or crown


Please reach out to our dental practice in Bloomingdale, IL, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Lu. Please call us at (630) 529-0303 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.

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