Crown lengthening involves the removal of gum tissue and possibly some of the underlying support for the purpose of exposing more of a tooth. This may be done for a variety of reasons from cosmetic enhancement to necessary treatment to save a tooth..
Here’s what you should know.
What is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a periodontal procedure to expose a greater amount of the tooth. The procedure may be needed to allow a tooth to be restored with a filling or crown by giving the dentist enough tooth structure to work with. It is also performed for cosmetic reasons to improve a gummy smile or an uneven gum line..
Crown Lengthening for Dental Crown Placement
A crown is a tooth-shaped cover placed over a damaged tooth to restore the look and function while leaving the root intact. The existing tooth material is typically reduced to make room for the crown. But in the case of a broken or severely damaged tooth, there is not always enough tooth material left to support a crown. Crown lengthening is applied to expose enough tooth material to attach a crown and save the tooth. It is a minor surgical procedure with minimal discomfort.
Crown Lengthening for Esthetic Improvement
Some people show a significant amount of gums which compromises a smile. Other esthetics issues may involve an uneven gum line or short teeth. Crown lengthening can be applied to greatly improve your smile and self-confidence.
Alternatives to Crown Lengthening
If you are not interested in crown lengthening, the tooth will need to be extracted and replaced with a prosthetic. There are two main tooth replacement options:
- Bridge. A bridge can replace a tooth that has been extracted. Two or more teeth adjacent to the extracted tooth will need to be ground down to allow connected crowns to be placed with the false tooth (pontic) held in between these crowns. The pontic sits on top of the gums.
- Dental implant. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is surgically placed in the jaw with a dental crown attached. It takes the place of the natural root and has its own support system that is independent of your other teeth.
Crown Lengthening vs Extraction
If you’re trying to decide whether or not crown lengthening is worth it, consider the benefits of crown lengthening:
- Preserves the natural root. A crown allows the natural root of the tooth to stay in place
- Saves money. The combined cost of crown lengthening and dental crown placement will typically cost less than extraction and replacement.
- Looks natural. A dental crown looks very natural. It is created to blend in with your other teeth in color, size, and shape.
- Keeps teeth in alignment. Extracting the tooth without replacing it could allow your teeth to shift out of place, but a crown will prevent this from occurring.
Frequently Asked Questions About Crown Lengthening
How long does crown lengthening take?
In most cases a crown lengthening procedure will take less than an hour depending on the number of teeth involved.
Does crown lengthening hurt?
Local anesthesia is used before crown lengthening to ensure your comfort. This numbs the area being treated. If you are feeling anxious about the procedure, sedation options are available to help you relax.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re wondering what is the best way to treat a damaged tooth, schedule a consultation with Progressive Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. After evaluating the tooth and discussing the options with you, we can make a recommendation for the best course of treatment.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.