When a tooth is fractured or decay extends below the gum line, this area must be uncovered before it can be restored. Crown lengthening adjusts the gum and bone levels to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored. This is needed for a number of reasons.
-There must be 3 millimeters of healthy tooth between the margin of a filling or a crown and the crest of the bone that supports the tooth. This allows space for proper attachment of the gum to the tooth.
-A tooth which is broken or decayed below the gum is difficult, if not impossible, for your dentist to restore correctly, as access and visualization is compromised.
-Even the best filling or crown will trap bacteria where the restoration meets the tooth. If this area is under the gum where you can not properly clean it, the bacterial accumulation results in both periodontal problems and the possible formation of a new cavity at the base of the restoration.
A crown lengthening procedure, which reshapes the gum and bone, will solve these problems. After treatment, the fractured or decayed area is uncovered and accessible to the dentist for restoration. The crown lengthening procedure allows a final restoration to be placed in a healthy environment.
Crown lengthening may also be a procedure needed if you feel your smile is "gummy" or if you think your teeth are too small. In this type of case, crown lengthening is performed by Dr. Crum to reshape the gum line to improve the aesthetics of your smile by exposing more of your natural tooth surface.