Crown lengthening (or crown exposure) is required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration and the edge of that restoration is deep below the gum tissue. The edge or “margin’ of the restoration is also usually too close to the bone or below the level of the adjacent bone.

The procedure involves adjusting the levels of the gum tissue and bone around the tooth in question, to create a new gum-to-tooth relationship. This allows your Dentist to place an accurate restoration (usually a crown) that properly fits the tooth and will not cause bone loss. After crown lengthening, we will provide enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come loose in the future. You will also be more able to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent decay and gum disease.

When the procedure is completed, sutures are placed to help secure the new gum-to-tooth relationship. 

You will need to be seen in approximately two weeks to remove the sutures and evaluate your healing. A new crown can be fabricated between 4 to 8 weeks after functional crown lengthening, depending on the tooth.

Esthetic Crown Lengthening: When you smile, do short, unsightly teeth and excessive gums bother you? Although your teeth appear short, they may actually be the proper length. The teeth may actually be covered with too much gum and bone tissue. We can correct this by performing a periodontal plastic surgery procedure, called Esthetic Crown Lengthening.

During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. Esthetic Crown Lengthening can be done to more than one tooth to create a beautiful smile. This procedure enhances your smile as well as your overall facial appearance. This procedure may preclude the necessity for orthognathic surgery and may be performed during or after orthodontic treatment.

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This relatively simple procedure usually takes about an hour to perform and is essentially a “gum lift”. During the procedure, the doctor removes excess gum and bone tissue and reshapes the smile to expose more of the natural tooth. While the procedure can be performed on just one tooth, it is most often done to the entire smile. The end result is that more of the natural tooth is exposed creating a wider, more beautiful smile.


Functional crown lengthening is needed in order to perform cosmetic or restorative procedures if a tooth is too far decayed, broken below the gumline, or has insufficient structure for restoration.

In cases like this, the doctor will reshape the gums and supporting bone to allow for adequate room to place a high quality restoration.

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