Crown lengthening (or crown exposure) is required when the tooth needs a new crown or other restoration and there is not enough exposed crown of your tooth to retain the new crown or filling. The edge of a filling needed may also extend deep below the gum tissue and not accessible for the dentist to restore with a filling or crown. If the crown or filling is too deep below the gum tissue or the margins of the crown are too close to the bone, the supporting tissue may remain inflamed, sensitive, or hard to manage or care for.
The crown lengthening procedure involves adjusting the levels of the gum tissue and bone around the tooth in question, to create a new gum-to-tooth relationship. This allows us to reach the edge of the restoration, ensuring a proper fit to the tooth. It should also provide enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come loose in the future. This allows you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent decay and gum disease. The procedure takes approximately one hour.
When the procedure is completed, sutures and a protective ‘bandage’ are placed to help secure the new gum-to tooth relationship. You will need to be seen in two weeks to remove the sutures and evaluate your healing.