Crown lengthening is a procedure used to address issues with excessive gingival displays, otherwise known as a gummy smile. While individuals with gummy smiles appear to have short teeth, their teeth are actually a normal size but have excessive gum tissue covering them. This can be due to skeletal deformities that cause vertical maxillary excess, a short upper lip, and other conditions. Apart from making teeth appear longer and more uniform, crown lengthening can also improve your confidence to smile and make it easier to care for your teeth and gums.
What Does a Crown Lengthening Procedure Entail?
The crown lengthening procedure involves removing soft tissue to increase the visibility of a person’s teeth. Some situations may also require the dentist to remove or reshape bone tissue. A dentist in Fountain Hills may perform the procedure on one tooth, multiple teeth, or on the entire gumline.
Crown lengthening techniques can include the following:
- Gingivectomy: This involves the removal of gum tissue using a scalpel, laser, or electrocautery. Patients who undergo laser gingivectomies typically have the least amount of pain, heal more quickly, and experience less bleeding. Meanwhile, electrocauteres involve using an electrically heated instrument and can be just as effective as laser techniques.
- Apically repositioned flap surgery: This procedure involves creating an incision in the gums to expose a flap of tissue. The dentist will then lift the flap to eliminate excess tissue. They may also remove bone tissue, depending on how much of the tooth they need to expose. The flap is then repositioned toward the root of the tooth, and stitches are used to keep it in place during the healing process.
- Surgical extrusion: This technique entails moving teeth to the desired location on the gumline. A dentist may opt for this method when teeth are fractured beneath the gum. The dentist may use wire or a splint to secure the tooth to its surrounding teeth.
Benefits of Crown Lengthening
The benefits of crown lengthening largely correspond to the reasons why people receive it. The main benefits for undergoing a crown lengthening procedure include the following:
- Save a tooth: When a natural crown is broken but the tooth can be saved, it may be necessary to remove extra gum tissue and install a dental crown.
- Improved smile: A crown lengthening procedure can improve an inconsistent gum line and the overall appearance of your smile.
- Reduced oral health problems: Tooth decay and other oral health issues occur less often with normal gums than high gums. This is because the excess gum tissue covers up areas of teeth that can’t be brushed and kept free of bacteria.
- Supports filling and crowns. In order for gums to properly merge with a dental crown, implant, or bridge, the gum line must be set at the right level. Crown lengthening will modify the gum line and allow for more efficient support for these devices.
Ask a Fountain Hills Dentist About Crown Lengthening
Do you have a gummy smile and are considering a crown lengthening procedure? Ask a dentist in Fountain Hills about how crown lengthening can improve the health and appearance of your smile today!