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Periodontics
Crown Lengthening

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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below. To schedule an appointment, go to our Appointment Request link above.

Office location:
Grand Rapids
2323 East Paris Ave. SE
Suite 102
Grand Rapids, MI
49546
Phone: (616) 855-4070

Crown lengthening is generally performed in order to improve the health of the gum tissue, or to prepare a tooth for restorative or cosmetic procedures.  Crown lengthening exposes more of the natural tooth by reshaping or re-contouring bone and gum tissue.  This treatment can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth or the entire gum line, to expose a pleasant, aesthetically pleasing smile.

Reasons for crown lengthening

  • Restoration of damaged teeth – Where teeth have been broken beneath the gum line or have deep cavities, crown lengthening can be used to prepare the area for a new restoration to correct the damaged teeth.  Crown lengthening is necessary to make room for adequate tooth structure for healthy gum attachment where a cavity, fracture, or filling may otherwise prevent normal attachment.

  • 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 thus improve the esthetic appearance of the smile.

  • Dental crowns – Crown lengthening serves to provide more space between the supporting jawbone and dental crown.  This prevents the new crown from damaging gum tissues and bone once it is in place.  With severely broken teeth (at the gumline) your dentist may request crown lengthening to exposes more tooth structure prior to crown placement.

What does crown lengthening involve?

Crown lengthening is normally performed under local anesthetic.  The amount of time this procedure takes will largely depend in how many teeth are involved and whether a small amount of bone needs to be removed, in addition to the soft tissue.  Existing dental crowns may be removed prior to the procedure, and replaced immediately afterwards.

Dr. Lueder will make a small incisions around the soft tissue in order to gently separate the gums away from the teeth.  Even if only one tooth requires the re-contour, neighboring teeth are usually treated to provide a more even reshaping.  Separating the gums provides needed access to the roots of the teeth and the underlying bone to complete the treatment.

In some cases, the removal of a small amount of tissue will provide enough tooth exposure to place a crown.  In other cases, the dentist will also need to remove a small amount of bone from around the teeth.  The bone is usually removed using a combination of special hand instruments, and rotary instruments.

When the dentist is satisfied the teeth have sufficient exposure, the wound will be cleaned and the gum tissue will be sutured with small stitches.  The teeth may look noticeably longer immediately after surgery because the gums have now been repositioned.

If you have any questions about crown lengthening, please give our office a call.