Gummy Smile Treatment
- Why would I need crown lengthening?
- About the Crown Lengthening Procedure
- Frequently Asked Questions About Crown Lengthening
Why would I need crown lengthening?
Crown Lengthening (Esthetic)
Crown lengthening is usually performed to improve the health of the gum tissue, prepare the mouth for a procedure, or correct a “gummy smile”. A “gummy smile” is used to describe an instance where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue resulting in a less esthetically-pleasing smile. The procedure involves reshaping or recontouring the gum tissue and bone around the tooth in question to create a new gum-to–tooth relationship. Crown lengthening can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth, or the entire gum line.
Crown lengthening is often required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration. The edge of that restoration is deep below the gum tissue and not immediately accessible. It is also usually too close to the bone or below the bone.
Crown lengthening allows us to reach the edge of the restoration, ensuring a proper fit to the tooth. It should also provide enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come loose in the future. This allows you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent decay and gum disease.
About the Crown Lengthening Procedure
Crown lengthening takes approximately one hour but will largely depend on the amount of teeth involved and if any amount of bone will need to be removed. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic and involves a series of small incisions around the tissue to separate the gums from the teeth. Even if only one tooth requires the procedure, it will probably be necessary to adjust the surrounding teeth to enable a more even reshaping. In some cases, extraction of a small amount of bone will be necessary as well.
Crown Lengthening (Tooth Wear)
When Drs. Farber, Batalias or Chondrogiannis is satisfied that the teeth have sufficient exposure and the procedure is completed, the incisions will be cleaned with sterile water. Sutures and a protective bandage are then placed to help secure the new gum-to-tooth relationship. Your teeth will look noticeably longer immediately after surgery because the gums have now been repositioned. You will need to be seen in one or two weeks to remove the sutures and evaluate your healing. The surgical site should be completely healed in approximately two to three months following the procedure.
Crown Lengthening (Deep Caries)
Frequently Asked Questions About Crown Lengthening
How painful is a crown lengthening procedure?
During the procedure — the area is numb so there is not any discomfort at all. After the procedure, the area will have slight discomfort (soreness) — our patients usually take an over-the-counter medication like Advil (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen).
When should you consider crown lengthening?
There are 2 types of crown lengthening procedures:
- Cosmetic/ Esthetic Crown Lengthening: if you have a gummy smile or short looking teeth, this procedure will help expose a more natural-broader smile.
- Functional Crown Lengthening: if a tooth is fractured or has decay below the gum line, this procedure will “save” your tooth and you will be able to have a final restoration placed in a new healthy environment.
Is crown lengthening worth it?
Absolutely — whether you desire improved cosmetics, a nicer smile, or desire to save a tooth- both are worth the investment, after all — a healthy smile — is a healthy life.
How much does crown lengthening cost?
Costs vary depending on the number of teeth involved. Generally, the range is between $600 - $1800 depending on number of teeth and difficulty of the procedure.