Crown lengthening is a common dental surgery that exposes more of the natural tooth by reshaping or re-contouring bone and gum tissue. This surgical option is typically used for patients who have fractured or decayed teeth, for the purpose of restoring the tooth with dental crowns.
Crown lengthening is generally performed in order to improve the health of the gum tissue, or to prepare the mouth for restorative or cosmetic procedures like crowns or porcelain veneers. At our Miami dental office, TM Prosthodontics, crown lengthening is a surgical option offered to patients to improve their smiles. Crown lengthening can be used to prepare the area where teeth have been broken beneath the gum line for restoration. It exposes more of the tooth so a crown or veneer has something to grab onto. Crown lengthening procedures can also be used to correct a “gummy” smile, where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue.
Periodontal disease can cause severe damage to the teeth. When dental decay becomes advanced, it often destroys tooth structure down to the bone level. At this point, it becomes impossible to restore a tooth without exposing more of the healthy root. Medical research is now showing that these bacteria in your mouth can also travel through your bloodstream into other organs in the body. When the damage from broken or decayed teeth extends below the gum line, crown lengthening allow better access to the damaged area. This bacteria has been found to increase the risk and severity of other health related issues such as:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Respiratory infections and diseases
- Pre-term and low birth-weight babies
During crown lengthening surgery, Dr. Morr, a dentist in Miami FL, retracts the gums from the affected tooth in order to access the decayed bone. In some cases, the removal of a small amount of tissue will provide enough tooth exposure to place a crown. In other cases, the removal of a small amount of bone from around the teeth may be necessary. Once the bone is smooth and shaped well, the gum tissue is returned to its position and sutured in such a fashion so that when it grows back into the tooth, it grows in lower on the root surface, below where the decay was. After a brief healing period, the teeth can then be prepared for the planned dental crown, filling, dental veneers or appropriate restoration procedure.
Crown lengthening is a versatile and very common surgical procedure, usually performed in less than one hour, and can be completed with local anesthetics or sedatives. Specialized surgical instruments ensure only the tissue that is in the immediate area surrounding the tooth will be treated, and there is no risk to the neighboring teeth.
Miami dentist TM Prosthodontics offers crown lengthening surgery to extend the height or size of the visible portion of the teeth above the gum line for healthier smiles.