Some people don’t like the look of their “gummy smiles.” Their teeth are covered with too much gum tissue, which makes the visible parts of their teeth seem short. The part of the tooth that shows beyond the gums is called the crown.
If you have a gummy smile, you may be a candidate for crown lengthening. This type of surgery is performed by a periodontist, a dental expert who treats gum problems.
During this procedure, the periodontist will reshape your gum and bone tissue around one or more of your teeth. This can make your gum line appear more even. It also can help reveal more of your teeth so that your teeth look taller. This can eliminate the gummy appearance and make your smile look more appealing.
For some people, crown lengthening isn’t for appearances only. They may need this surgery to help expose more of the tooth before they can have a tooth restoration. For example, a person might need crown lengthening if they have a tooth that is broken beneath the gum line. This procedure can uncover more of the bone so that the dentist or periodontist can add a crown or bridge. People with severe tooth decay may also need crown lengthening before their tooth can be restored.
Crown lengthening can be performed in the periodontist’s office. Pain control and anesthesia can help reduce any discomfort from surgery.
“Dental Crown Lengthening Procedure.” American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/dental-crown-lenghthening.htm. Accessed 2013.
“Gum Disease Information.” http://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm?theme=perio_mobile. Accessed 2013.
“Plastic Surgery Procedures.” American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/plastic-surgery-procedures. Accessed 2013.