Crown lengthening (or crown exposure) is required when there is inadequate tooth structure to allow the proper placement of a crown or other restoration by your dentist. A shortened tooth can result from a fracture, a deep cavity, or to an altered pattern of eruption which leaves a short tooth. Without crown lengthening, the edge ofthe neededrestorationwould bedeep below the gum tissue and not accessible. It could also be too close to the bone or below the bone (an unhealthy situation that could lead to chronic inflammation and eventual tooth loss).
The procedure involves adjusting the level of the gum tissue and bone around the tooth in question to create a new gum-totooth relationship. This allows us to reach the edge of the restoration, ensuring a proper fit to the tooth. It should also provide enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come loose in the future. This allows you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent decay and gum disease. The procedure takes approximately one hour.
When the procedure is completed, sutures, and a protective bandage are placed to help secure the new gum-to-tooth relationship. You will need to be seen in one or two weeks to remove the sutures and evaluate your healing. Generally,placement of thenew final restoration or crown by the general dentist can be done 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Before and after functional crown lengthening surgery to expose tooth structure.