The appearance of the teeth are the first thing you probably notice about someone’s smile, but many of us don’t realize how much the gums influence the smile’s aesthetics too. Gums that are too prominent or uneven can detract from the smile as much as misaligned teeth do.
A periodontist can offer treatments to patients whose smiles suffer because of unattractive gums. One such procedure is crown lengthening.
Crown lengthening can help patients overcome prominent gums or a “gummy” smile in which the teeth appear to be unusually small.
When performing crown lengthening, a periodontist will remove excess gum tissue that is concealing a portion of the tooth’s crown. In some cases, bone material may need to be removed if it is also covering up a portion of the smile.
A crown lengthening procedure can be performed in an isolated area if just a few teeth are affected, or the periodontist can remove excess gum tissue along an entire gumline if necessary.
This procedure is performed in an outpatient setting, typically the periodontist’s office. The patient will receive a local anesthetic and may choose a sedative for additional comfort. General anesthesia is generally not needed for crown lengthening.
After you undergo a crown lengthening procedure, be sure to follow your periodontist’s instructions for keeping the site clean. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene after the procedure, but you may have to adjust your technique slightly in the first few weeks of healing.
In addition to improving your smile’s appearance, crown lengthening has benefits for your oral health, too. When more of the tooth material is exposed, it’s easier to keep that area clean with brushing and flossing. Crown lengthening may also be performed to expose more tooth material prior to a restoration, such as placement of a crown or veneers.
Patients often find that their smiles are greatly enhanced with a crown lengthening procedure. If you feel that you would benefit from this treatment, consult with our skilled team of periodontists to learn more about the potential outcomes. Call 212-756-8890 for more information.