Crown lengthening is a procedure that involves the removal of gum tissue in order to expose more of the tooth structure. It is considered to be a periodontal procedure because it focuses on the periodontal tissue, more commonly known as the gums. While general dentistry practices may offer this service, crown lengthening is most commonly performed by a periodontist.
Is crown lengthening necessary? It depends on the situation, but there are many benefits to the procedure that make it worthwhile.
What is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is the process of removing a small portion of the gum tissue so that more tooth structure is available above the gum line. The gum tissue is numbed with local anesthesia before the procedure. A dental laser is used to remove the necessary amount of gum tissue from the teeth. Laser crown lengthening is less invasive for the patient, providing a more comfortable experience that requires less anesthesia and no sutures.
Why is Crown Lengthening Done?
Crown lengthening may be done for a variety of reasons:
- Make room for a crown. A tooth that has lost a significant amount of tooth material due to decay or damage may be able to be saved with a crown. However, if there is not enough tooth material above the gums, the crown can’t be placed. Crown lengthening removes some of the gum tissue to expose more of the tooth, making room for the crown to be attached..
- Treatment and prevention of gum disease. When there is excess gum tissue over the teeth it increases your risk of developing gum disease. Plaque and calculus can build up along the gum line and even get underneath the gums, leading to a bacterial infection of the gums known as gum disease. Crown lengthening removes the excess gum tissue, which can both treat and prevent gum disease.
- Improve your smile. Excess gum tissue covering the teeth can make your smile overly gummy or make your teeth look small. Crown lengthening can give you a more natural looking smile by removing the excess gum tissue from your teeth.
Who Performs Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is best performed by a specialist, which in this case would be a periodontist. Periodontists specialize in treating conditions affecting the support structures for the teeth, which includes the gums. This procedure must be done carefully by someone with experience to ensure that the right amount of tissue is removed and the gum tissue heals properly afterwards.
Do I Need Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening may be recommended for dental or oral health reasons, or it may be something you request for your own reasons. Whether or not it is considered necessary depends on the reason. Whether or not it is worth it is up to you. Common reasons for crown lengthening include:
- Save a tooth. If you have a tooth that can be saved with a crown, crown lengthening is worth it to keep your natural tooth. This is a time when the procedure would be considered necessary.
- Prevent gum disease. If crown lengthening can prevent you from developing gum disease, or if it can treat an existing infection, it will provide a lifetime of better oral health. In this case it would also be considered necessary.
- Cosmetic reasons. If the purpose of crown lengthening is to improve your smile, it is not exactly necessary, but still a worthwhile procedure. You’ll feel better about yourself and have more confidence.
Where Should I Go For Crown Lengthening?
Hudson Valley Periodontics & Implantology specializes in crown lengthening procedures, helping patients improve their dental and oral health as well as their appearance. Our primary focus is periodontal health, which in turn promotes your dental health by helping you keep your natural teeth in place with proper support.