What is crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is the process of re-contouring gum tissue (and sometimes bone) to expose more of a tooth for crown fabrication. It can be used for tooth health or esthetic reasons. This procedure is very common and is best performed by a periodontist specialized in treating the gums and other supporting tissues of the teeth. Crown lengthening is often required when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration. The edge of that restoration is deep below the gum tissue and not immediately accessible. It is also usually too close to the bone or below the bone. Crown lengthening 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.
Why would I need crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening is usually performed to improve the health of the gum tissue, prepare the mouth for a procedure, or correct a “gummy smile”. A “gummy smile” is used to describe an instance where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue resulting in a less esthetically pleasing smile.The procedure involves reshaping or recontouring the gum tissue and sometimes bone around the tooth in question to create a new gum-to–tooth relationship. Crown lengthening can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth, or the entire gum line.
Crown Lengthening for Restorations
One of the most common uses for crown lengthening is to prepare a tooth for a crown restoration. Sometimes, not enough of a tooth exists above the gumline to support a crown or other restoration. In this case, your general dentist may refer you to Dr. Bramanti for crown lengthening. He will remove a small amount of gum tissue, and in some cases marginal bone, to reveal enough tooth for successful attachment of the crown.
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Thomas E. Bramanti, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Board-Certified Diplomate American Board of Periodontology/Implant Dentistry
Board-Certified Diplomate American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry
Certified TMJ Expert, The Pankey Institute
Fellow American Academy of Implant Dentistry
Clinical Assistant Professor at UCSF in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Clinical Assistant Professor UCSF-Fresno Medical Education Program, School of Medicine
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Fixing Gummy Smiles
Another important use of crown lengthening, also called “gum contouring,” is the treatment of “gummy smiles.” This is a very common esthetic issue where the teeth look too small, forcing the smile out of balance. In actuality, the teeth are the right size, but they are simply covered with too much gum tissue. Sometimes the teeth are quite small in relation to the gum tissue. This can create an unattractive “gummy” smile. An uneven gum line and uneven tooth wear can also be distracting.
The gum line, and the bone just beneath the gum line, can be altered to change the appearance of your smile by exposing more of your natural teeth. This can create a more even gum line or make the teeth appear longer. With crown lengthening, Dr. Bramanti is able to remove some of the excess gum tissue to fix your gummy smile and give you a more balanced, naturally beautiful confident smile.
If you require crown lengthening or simply want to improve the esthetics of your smile, contact Dr. Bramanti to arrange for a consultation to find out how you may improve your health and natural beauty.
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THOMAS E. BRAMANTI, DDS, PHD, INC
5660 N. Fresno Suite 110
Fresno, CA 93710
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