Crown Lengthening

Dental Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening can be utilized for both cosmetic and restorative purposes. By exposing the gumline, oral surgeons can treat hidden decay or cavities. Crown lengthening can also reshape the gumline and be performed alongside enamel recontouring for a beautiful, youthful smile. The field of restorative dentistry has continued to evolve in the past years, offering less invasive and more effective treatments. Oral surgeons have been able to treat decaying, damaged, or broken teeth with ease.

The introduction of dental crowns and dental implants have proved revolutionary in the long-term treatment of damaged or missing teeth. Dental fillings are a simple treatment that dentists use to remove and fill decayed portions of teeth. These dental procedures are incredibly helpful for patients, but when a cavity forms on the tooth above the gumline or the tooth becomes damaged or fractured above the gumline, crown lengthening may be needed.

What is crown lengthening?

Crown lengthening, sometimes referred to as crown exposure or teeth lengthening, is a common oral surgery procedure where the gum tissue above the tooth is repositioned in order to reveal more of your tooth. While the crown is not being lengthened itself, some gum tissue is being removed, resulting in a longer-looking tooth. Crown lengthening may be performed on just 1 tooth or several teeth. Tooth lengthening is a versatile oral procedure that can be used for a variety of treatments.


When is crown lengthening needed?

In most cases, crown lengthening is used when a cavity forms on a portion of the tooth which is obscured by gum tissue. Without the cavity being exposed, it cannot be properly treated. Cavities concealed by the gumline are usually only detected by a dental x-ray. Crown lengthening can reposition and recontour the gumline so that the cavity is exposed, allowing for the decayed material to be removed and a filling to be placed.

Another common use for crown lengthening is when treating a tooth that has become damaged under the gumline. This can happen when an entire cusp breaks off from the tooth or the tooth becomes fractured below the gumline. When a tooth breaks below the gumline, it cannot be restored unless the crown is lengthened, exposing the damaged portion of the tooth. Following crown lengthening for a broken tooth, we will be able to perform a procedure to fix the damaged tooth, such as placing a dental crown.

Reasons For Crown Lengthening
Cavities Hidden Below The Gumline
Teeth That Have Fractured Below The Gums
When An Entire Cusp Breaks Off Of The Tooth
Gummy Smile Correction

Does crown lengthening have a cosmetic purpose?

Crown lengthening is also used to correct a gummy smile, which is denoted by a large amount of gum tissue, which conceals the majority of your teeth. Excess gum tissue may make your teeth appear smaller and cause a smile that shows more gum than usual. Crown lengthening adjusts the ratio of gum to teeth and repositions the gumline to its optimal level. Crown lengthening for gummy smile correction is often performed using laser technology. Laser crown lengthening is less invasive than traditional crown lengthening, which typically uses incisions along the gumline. Following gummy smile correction with crown lengthening, your teeth will appear longer, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

What should I expect from crown lengthening?

The details of your crown lengthening will vary depending on what you are having treated. For example, if you have a cavity concealed by the gumline, we will begin your crown lengthening procedure by raising the flap of gum tissue above the tooth. We will then reduce the bone height under the gum, which will be prepared to support the gums on a lower position in order to expose the cavity. When reducing the bone height, we will follow your bone’s natural progression. The gum tissue is then repositioned on the newly prepared bone and is now supported above the damaged portion of tooth, exposing the cavity so that it can be worked on. The incisions within the gumline will be carefully sutured to allow for proper healing following your crown lengthening treatment in Washington, DC.

For patients with a broken tooth below the gumline or who have experienced an entire cusp breaking off from the tooth, the gumline will be raised in order to view the portion of the damaged tooth. The bone will then be reduced to a certain level under the fracture line of the tooth to allow Dr. Pashapour and his surgical team adequate space to work on the damaged tooth. The gumline will now be supported on this lower bone position below the damaged tooth. Sutures will be applied to the incisions on the gumline. After the gums have healed from crown lengthening, the tooth can be treated with a restorative procedure. The damaged tooth may be repaired using a variety of procedures, such as dental bonding or dental crowns. Patients recovering from laser crown lengthening for the correction of a gummy smile may experience a shorter recovery period.


What should I expect after crown lengthening?

Following crown lengthening, you may notice gum space missing between the teeth, but the gums will naturally grow into place. Following crown lengthening, you may experience slight bleeding or mild irritation, inflammation, or discomfort at the surgical site. These symptoms will begin to fade as you heal from crown lengthening. The rate of healing will depend on your specific case, what you are having crown lengthening performed for, and how far up the gum must be repositioned. We will be able to answer any questions you have about crown lengthening during your consultation at our Washington, DC office.

How can I get started with crown lengthening?

Dr. Pashapour and his staff at Pashapour Oral + Facial Surgery would be happy to discuss the details of a crown lengthening with you. To schedule an appointment in Washington, DC or Arlington, please call our office at 703-566-1990 or request an appointment online.

Professional Memberships

Educational Background

Georgetown University The University of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine Drexel University College Of Medicine University Of Medicine & Dentistry Of New Jersey

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