Crown Lengthening

Do you have a gummy smile? Are you displeased with your smile because your teeth are too short, or you show too much gum when you smile? Do you want to show more your pearly white teeth when you smile and less pale pink or bright red gum? Crown lengthening is a procedure that give you larger smile you desire and less gums. There are many ways to do this, and which one is the right for you depends on the exact condition of your teeth and gums.

This page will help you understand your crown lengthening options, but if you want to know which one is right for you, we welcome you to schedule you an appointment at Aria dental of Mission Viejo by calling us at (949) 364-9600  or in Mission Viejo surrounded by Ladera Ranch, Laguna Niguel, and San Clemente.

Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is generally performed to improve the health of gum tissue, prepare the mouth for restorative or cosmetic procedures, or correct a “gummy smile” where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue resulting in a less esthetically-pleasing smile. The procedure involves reshaping and re-contouring the gum tissue and bone around the tooth in question to create a new gum-to-tooth relation.  Crown lengthening can be performed on a single, many teeth, or entire gum line. Crown lengthening is often required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration, and 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. 

Benefits of Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is a versatile and common procedure that has both functional and esthetic benefits. Most patients who have undergone this type of surgery are highly delighted with the results.

  • Restoration of Damaged Teeth – Periodontal disease can cause severe damage to the teeth, as can trauma and decay.  When teeth are broken under gum line, crown lengthening can be used to prepare the area for a new restoration to correct the damaged teeth.
  • Cosmetic Uses – Extra gum tissue can make teeth look unnaturally short, and also increase susceptibility to periodontal infections. Removing excess gum tissue can restore a balanced, healthy look and improve the aesthetic appearance of the smile.
  • Dental Crowns – when a tooth needs a restoration crown, an adequate exposed natural crown is needed in order to place the restoration properly and securely. An inadequate crown exposure can cause the restoration to cut into the gum line and cause pain, irritation or bleeding. Thus, to prevent complication, your periodontist at Aria Dental can gently lengthen the amount of natural crown that is exposed above the gum line.
  • Tooth Exposure for Orthodontics – Certain teeth, such as canines, can sometimes fail to erupt (break through the gum and expose themselves) or properly descend into their proper position in the dental arch. In order to move your teeth to proper position, your orthodontic might need the crown of your teeth to be exposed prior to placing a bracket on your tooth. In this situation, your periodontist can help to expose the crown of your tooth.

The benefits of crown lengthening procedures are both functional and esthetic. As one of the most commonly used procedures in periodontics, it is indicated when insufficient crown length prevents adequate retention to the future restoration. This procedure will adjust the bone and gingival levels to expose more tooth structure. It will improve the health and appearance of the tissue around the future prosthesis.

Causes for Gummy Smiles

Not all gummy smiles are created equal. Your gummy smile may be caused by many factors, and the right treatment will depend on the reason for gummy smile.

  • Excess gum tissue
  • Gum inflammation
  • Short or worn teeth

Gum Treatment for Gum Inflammation

Sometimes it may seem that you have excess gum tissue, but the problem is not a gummy smile; it is a swollen gum due to gum disease that could cause your gum to be red and tender and bleed when you brush or floss.

In this situation, the proper solution is gum treatment to control infection, not crown lengthening. The We perform nonsurgical periodontal therapy with ultrasonic cleaning and laser that is both more effective and comfortable. We also use targeted antibiotic delivery of Arestin and PerioProtect to ensure your gums heal quickly.

Dental Restoration for Short or Worn Teeth

If your teeth seem to be short, it may not be appropriate to do crown lengthening by removing gum tissue or bone to lengthening the crown of your teeth. Instead, the porcelain veneer or dental crown might be recommended to build up your teeth to good length.

Prior to placing any dental crown, Dr. Horiyat will look for underlying cause of your excessively worn teeth, which is typically associated with Bruxism (teeth grinding) or TMJ. if we don’t treat the cause of worn teeth, your new dental restoration will wear out or fracture quickly.

We could perform nonsurgical periodontal therapy with ultrasonic cleaning and laser that is both more effective and comfortable. We also use targeted antibiotic delivery of Arestin and Perio-protect to ensure your gums heal quickly.

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