Those who feel that they have a “gummy” smile can greatly benefit from esthetic crown lengthening. This relatively simple procedure usually takes about an hour to perform and is essentially a “gum lift”. During the procedure, the doctor removes excess gum and bone tissue and reshapes the smile to expose more of the natural tooth. While the procedure can be performed on just one tooth, it is most often done to the entire smile. The end result is that more of the natural tooth is exposed creating a wider, more beautiful smile.
Esthetic crown lengthening can also be done to preserve the health of the smile. Removing excess gum tissue can help control and prevent periodontal disease. Increasing the exposed surface area of the tooth will decrease the depth of pockets between teeth where bacteria can grow and harm your teeth and gums.
Prior to the procedure a local anesthetic will be administered to prevent pain and discomfort. Small incisions in the gum tissue will be needed to separate the gums from the teeth. In some cases, a small amount of bone will also need to be removed to create a natural smile. Once the procedure is completed, the doctor will clean the incisions with sterile water and place sutures and a protective bandage over the area to encourage the teeth and newly contoured gums to re-attach to each other. A follow up appointment will be needed one to two weeks after the procedure to evaluate healing.