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Crown Lengthening

When decay occurs below the gumline, it may be necessary to remove a small amount of bone and gum tissue. Your dentist may ask for this procedure before he makes a new crown for your tooth.

Crown Lengthening procedures are done for both restorative dentistry and/or to improve the esthetics of your gum line. This procedure adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.

Sometimes crown lengthening is done to improve a "gummy" smile because the teeth appear short. The teeth may actually be the proper length but excess gum tissue may be covering these teeth. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth.

There are several means by which crown lengthening can be performed. One is with a Laser which removes the excess tissue in a very non-traumatic way. The tissues generally heal very quickly in only a matter of days. Another way is with and electro-surgical unit which uses radio waves emitted from a small wire which cuts the excess tissue away and seals the tiny blood vessels so that there is little to no bleeding. Healing is similar to the laser.

Finally, in those cases where there is excessive gum tissue covering the crown portion of the tooth and the dentist has determined that there is excessive bone under the gum, a surgical flap procedure is done where the underlying bone is delicately removed and the gums placed further up the root of the tooth to expose more crown structure. The post-op is longer with this procedure.

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