Understanding Crown-Lengthening

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Crown-lengthening is a surgical dental procedure where gum tissue and bone are removed in order to expose more surface area of the tooth. Crown-lengthening is helpful in the special circumstances described below.

Sometimes a person’s teeth appear to be “too short.” Maybe you’ve heard this condition referred to as having a “gummy smile.” Usually the teeth aren’t too short at all; they are simply covered by too much gum tissue. So, the crown-lengthening procedure reshapes excess gum and bone tissue to reveal more of the natural tooth.

Crown-lengthening can be done for one tooth to even the patient’s gum line, or it can be done to several teeth, exposing the full smile.

Sometimes a tooth cracks and breaks off at or below the gum line, leaving very little tooth structure to support a restorative treatment, like a filling, crown or a bridge. So, in order to repair the tooth, crown-lengthening is used to adjust the gum and bone levels to expose more of the tooth that it might be restored.

For clarity’s sake, here’s how it works: If you have an over-abundance of gum tissue, it makes it difficult for your doctor to make a crown that will bond to the visible portion of the tooth. Therefore, Dr. Nicholas uses crown-lengthening to expose more of the tooth surface in order to provide greater retention (or “more to hold on to”) for the restoration.

In some circumstances, a crown or filling has fallen out of a tooth and there is tooth decay lurking beneath. Crown-lengthening can give your dentist the opportunity and ability to address the problem.

In summary, crown-lengthening addresses “gum problems” so your dentist or periodontist can tackle any “tooth problems.” Therefore, you should seek a gum expert.

Dr. Nicholas is not only a celebrated dentist, she is also a well-known periodontist, which is a specialized and highly trained dentist who has expert knowledge in gum tissue treatments. A board-certified periodontist like Dr. Nicholas is the most qualified dental professional to perform a crown-lengthening due to her substantial additional training. So, don’t trust your smile to an everyday discount dentist; put yourself in the competent hands of a distinguished professional who can give you the very best care.

For more information about crown-lengthening, contact Dr. Anne Nicholas at the Palm Desert Center for Advanced Periodontics, Cosmetic, Sedation and Implant Dentistry. She can be reached by phone at 760-851-0314 or at her office in Palm Desert, California.