Karl J Zeren, D.D.S.

Brandon M. West, D.D.S., M.S.

Diplomates of the American Board of Periodontology
Practice Limited to Periodontics & Dental Implant Surgery

Dental Crown Lengthening

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Your smile is the first thing that others notice about you. It can say a lot about you before you even have the chance to say anything. While your teeth are a major contributing factor to the quality of your smile, they are not the only one. Your teeth may be perfect, but your gums can keep you from having the perfect smile you desire. Excess gum tissue can leave you with a gummy smile, causing your teeth to appear much smaller than they are. At Karl Zeren DDS, we can help to provide you with a natural gumline, enhancing the beauty of your smile, with crown lengthening.

What Is Crown Lengthening?

Excess gum tissue can leave you with what is known as a gummy smile. Even if your teeth are perfectly straight and white, a gummy smile can cause your teeth to appear small. A crown lengthening is a cosmetic procedure that is performed to eliminate excess gum tissue, providing you with a more natural gumline and greatly improving the quality of your smile. In certain situations, a small amount of bone may also need to be removed to help provide optimal results.

How Is A Crown Lengthening Done?

Crown lengthening used to be performed using a scalpel. This sharp instrument is effective but can cause significant bleeding, as well as pain and swelling. Today, we perform crown lengthening procedures using a laser. A dental laser uses a concentrated beam of light that is about the thickness of a human hair. The laser cauterizes tissue as it cuts, greatly reducing bleeding. The laser provides pinpoint accuracy, allowing us to target and remove only the necessary tissue. Because it is so accurate, it also helps to reduce pain and swelling once the procedure is complete. The wavelength of the laser is also adjustable. In addition to being used to cut soft tissue, it can also be used to remove necessary bone tissue.

Crown lengthening is performed under a local anesthetic, which ensures that you do not feel any discomfort. Small incisions are made in your gums, which enables us to separate the soft tissue from your teeth. The laser is then used to remove necessary gum tissue and any necessary bone. Once the procedure is complete, the gums are sutured back against your teeth. The results of the treatment are noticeable immediately and improve as you heal.

Other Uses For Crown Lengthening

While generally used as a cosmetic treatment, a crown lengthening can also be used to help improve your oral health. Common functional purposes of a crown lengthening include:

  • Crown placement. A crown is a restoration used to treat a damaged tooth. It is a cap-like restoration that covers the entire visible surface of a damaged tooth. Excess gum tissue can prevent the crown from fitting properly. A crown lengthening can help to ensure that your crown fits correctly and provides you with optimal protection.
  • Cavity treatment at the gumline. Cavities at the gumline can be difficult to treat. Decay may extend under the gumline and may not be completely removed. The cavity may also not be filled. Removing excess gum tissue can make treating these cavities much easier.
  • Improving periodontal health. Excess gum tissue can trap bacteria, which can be difficult to clean away completely. The bacteria can irritate your gums, which can then lead to gum disease. Removing excess gum tissue can help make your mouth easier to keep clean and can help to reduce your risk for gum disease.

With a crown lengthening, we can provide you with a healthier, more natural gumline, which can give you a smile you have been longing for.


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