Crown Lengthening in Dallas, Texas

Crown lengthening can be divided into two categories:  Restorative Crown Lengthening and Esthetic Crown Lengthening.  Restorative Crown Lengthening is generally performed in order to improve the health of the gum tissue, or to prepare the teeth for restorative procedures.  Esthetic Crown Lengthening is used to correct a “gummy” smile, where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue.  Crown lengthening exposes more of the natural tooth by reshaping or recontouring bone and gum tissue.  This treatment can be performed on a single tooth or many teeth.

Reasons for performing Restorative Crown Lengthening

Restorative Crown Lengthening is a very useful procedure that has many benefits. 

Here are the most common reasons for performing Restorative Crown Lengthening:

  • Restoration of decayed teeth – Teeth that have sustained decay can sometimes be difficult to restore.  If a cavity extends below the gum line, it may be challenging for the dentist to see whether the decay has been completely removed.  Restorative Crown Lengthening can make it much easier for the dentist to ensure that complete decay removal has taken place by moving the gum line lower and exposing more of the tooth.  This results in restoration of the tooth with no undetected decay being left behind.
  • Restoration of broken or damaged teeth – Teeth that have been broken or severely decayed may requre restoration with a dental crown.  In these situations, there may not be enough remaining tooth structure above the gum line to hold a dental crown in place.  Attempting to construct a crown on such a "short" tooth results in a crown that frequently comes off.  Restorative Crown Lengthening moves the gum line lower thus exposing more tooth structure.  The result is a dental crown that does not come off.
  • Infringement of Biologic Width – A filling or a crown that extends far below the gum line may result in Infringement of the Biologic Width.  The Biologic Width is a 2-millimeter collar of the root of the tooth above the jawbone.  If a filling or crown extends below the gum line and onto the Biologic Width of the root is called an "Infringement or Violation of the Biologic Width.  The result can be inflammation and irritation and discomfort of the gum.   Restorative Crown Lengthening is used to move the gum and bone line lower.  The result is a favorable exposure of more tooth root between the filling or crown and the jawbone.  The Biologic Width is restored and inflammation, irritation, and discomfort of the gum resolves. 

Reasons for Esthetic Crown Lengthening

Esthetic Crown Lengthening is a versatile and common procedure that has many effective uses and benefits. The vast majority of patients who have undergone this type of surgery are highly delighted with the results.

Here are some of the most common reasons for crown lengthening:

  • Cosmetic uses – Extra gum tissue can make teeth look unnaturally short and unattractive. Removing excess gum tissue can restore a balanced, healthy look and thus improve the esthetic appearance of the smile.

What does Crown Lengthening involve?

Crown lengthening is normally performed under IV sedatition and 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 some of the gum tissue. 

The periodontist will make a series of small incisions around the teeth in order to separate the gums from the teeth and jawbone.  Even if only one tooth requires Crown Lengthening, neighboring teeth are usually treated also in order to provide a more even reshaping.  Separating the gums provides the dentist with access to the roots of the teeth and the underlying bone.

In most cases, the periodontist will need to remove a small amount of gum and bone from around the teeth.  The bone is usually removed using a combination of special hand instruments and rotary instruments.  The rotary instruments resemble the drills that are used in treating cavities.

When the periodontist is satisfied the teeth have sufficient exposure, the gums will be closed and held in with small stitches.

Prescriptions will be provided for pain medication.  A chlorhexidine (antimicrobial) mouth rinse will be given to help reduce plaque and bacteria from the healing gums.  Teeth being treated with Restorative Crown Lengthening will usually be ready for restorative treatment in five to six weeks.  Teeth being treatmed with Esthetic Crown Lengtheing will be completely healed in approximately three months.

If you would like more information on Crown Lengthening in Dallas by Dr. Marshal Goldberg please email, or call 214-890-7777


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