Crown lengthening is a trusted and versatile procedure for preparing the mouth for cosmetic or restorative procedures and improving the health of the gums. Crown lengthening is also a solution to “gummy” smiles where the teeth are covered with excess gum tissue.

This procedure reshapes or recontours bone and gum tissue to expose more of the natural tooth, creating an aesthetically pleasing smile. Crown lengthening can be completed on one tooth, many teeth, or the entire gum line. Even if the treatment is for one tooth, neighboring teeth will be treated as well to provide an even reshaping.

When is crown lengthening necessary?

There are many benefits to crown lengthening, and most patients who have undergone this treatment are satisfied with their results.

Some of the most common reasons for having a crown lengthening treatment include:

  • Cosmetic purposes - Excess gum tissue can make a mouth more susceptible to periodontal infection, as well as make the teeth look unnaturally short. By removing gum tissue, the smile will become healthier and more attractive.
  • Dental crowns - Dental crowns can damage gum tissue and bone when placed on teeth that appear too short. If more space is needed between the supporting jawbone and the dental crown, a crown lengthening procedure can prevent unnecessary pain and discomfort.
  • Restoring damaged teeth - Teeth can become damaged beneath the gum line due to periodontal disease, decay, and trauma. Crown lengthening can help prepare these teeth for restoration.

The crown lengthening procedure

The amount of time crown lengthening takes largely depends on how many teeth are involved and how much soft tissue and bone must be removed. Dental crowns must be removed prior to treatment and replaced afterward, which will add to the procedure’s duration.

Once the treatment begins, the Brooklyn Dentist will numb the patient with a local anesthetic (Novacaine). A series of small incisions will be made around the soft tissue to separate the gums from the teeth. Doing this gives the dentist access to the teeth’s roots and the mouth’s underlying bone. In some cases, the dentist may only have to remove a small amount of tissue, while in others they may have to remove bone around the teeth as well. Bone is removed using a combination of drill-like rotary instruments and special hand instruments.

The teeth will already look noticeably longer immediately after the surgery due to the repositioning of the gums. The dentist will apply an intraoral (periodontal) bandage over the lengthening site to prevent infection. They will provide pain medication and a chlorhexidine (antimicrobial) mouth rinse as well to reduce the recolonization of bacteria. The healing process will last about 2-3 months.

To express your questions or concerns about crown lengthening in Brooklyn, NY, or to set up a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Shahin, please contact us at Brooklyn Dentist.