Do I Need a Crown Lengthening Procedure?
Has your dentist recommended that you undergo a crown lengthening procedure? The idea of oral surgery might sound a little intimidating, but there’s nothing to worry about. Periodontists perform crown lengthening all the time, and it produces consistently great results. Still, you might wonder if the procedure is really necessary in your case. Only a frank discussion with your dentist can help you find a definite answer to that question. In the meantime, however, why not consider some reasons why crown lengthening may be necessary? Doing so may make you feel more confident about your upcoming treatment.
Dental crowns are an excellent way to protect and reshape severely damaged teeth. In order for them to do their job, however, they need an adequate amount of natural dentition to adhere to. Otherwise, they may will not fit well and may even fall off. That’s where crown lengthening comes into the picture. During crown lengthening, your periodontist — a dentist who specializes in gum treatments — will gently remove some of your gum tissue (and perhaps slightly reshape your jawbone) in order to expose of your natural tooth’s surface. Your crown will then have all the support it needs to thrive.
Crown lengthening isn’t always necessary before a patient receives a restorative dental crown. However, it might be necessary in your case if:
- You have a naturally short tooth
- You have excess gum tissue
- A tooth has broken close to the gumline
Having excessive gum tissue can pose a threat to your oral health. Your toothbrush and floss may not be able to adequately clean a tooth that has a “high” gumline. Bacteria can accumulate around or beneath the gums and lead to issues like cavities and gum disease. Crown lengthening rids your mouth of excess gum tissue, thereby enabling easier oral hygiene and lowering your risk of future dental health problems.
The two most common cosmetic applications of crown lengthening are:
- To create a more proportionate smile. No more than a few millimeters of gum tissue should be visible when you smile. If more than that is visible, it can adversely affect your smile’s aesthetics. Crown lengthening creates a more appealing gumline and makes your teeth appear longer.
- To make room for porcelain veneers. Just like restorative dental crowns, porcelain veneers need an adequate amount of natural dentition to adhere to. Crown lengthening creates the necessary space on your teeth for your veneers to look spectacular and stand the test of time.
If your dentist has recommended that you undergo crown lengthening, there is no reason to be nervous. This straightforward, common periodontal procedure can do much to improve your oral health and your smile’s appearance.