What is crown lengthening?

Beautiful senior woman in white casuals looking away and smiling. Cheerful mature woman sitting on white background.You may have heard about crown lengthening as an emerging trend in dentistry. Crown lengthening is a procedure performed by dentists and periodontists to increase your tooth surface. This is done by recontouring gum tissue to expose more of your tooth. Thereby it lengthens how much tooth is visible. 

Reasons for crown lengthening

Crown lengthening is often recommended for the proper placement of crowns or bridges. It’s also used to enhance the aesthetic beauty of your smile. For some patients Dr. Frahm recommends crown lengthening prior to the placement of veneers.

Crown lengthening for tooth replacement: Crowns, bridges

To properly place crowns and bridges, you must have enough of a healthy tooth to support them. But what happens if you don’t have enough of your original tooth left due to either decay, a weak tooth structure, or because your tooth is broken? By sculpting your gumline, more of your tooth’s surface Is exposed to accommodate a crown or a bridge. 

Crown lengthening for aesthetics: Veneers and smile enhancement

Veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment that improves the appearance of your smile. As we saw with crowns and bridges, veneers also require a stable tooth surface.  Crown lengthening can add surface and allow for a beautifully proportioned smile and gumline. 

But, the most common reason for crown lengthening is to correct agummy smile. This term describes gums that are visible above the teeth when you smile. A gummy smiles can make you feel self-conscious. Crown lengthening sculpts your gums.  This enhances your smile so more of teeth show. Dental professionals refer to the golden ratio which allows for balanced proportions of your facial features, gumline, and teeth.

You may have heard to the golden proportion in relation to art and nature. Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man was drawn with ideal body proportions. A peacock’s feather contains a natural golden ratio. So too can dentists sculpt gums to bring a symmetry, dominance, and proportion for a beautiful smile. 

How is crown lengthening performed?

There are a few different techniques for crown lengthening. Reshaping gums is usually done with either a laser or scalpel.  Dr. Frahm prefers to use lasers. They are less invasive and result in less downtime and discomfort than scalpels. 

Gum reshaping is a one- to two-hour treatment. It can be done right in the dentist chair. The procedure feels familiar. Just like when a cavity is filled, Dr. Frahm numbs your gums. You’ll remain awake. The treatment consists of:

  • A soft tissue laser to remove a few millimeters of gum tissue.
  • Resculpting the gum line to expose more of tooth surface.  

Whether you are looking for crown lengthening to restore dental health or give you the smile you want, it’s a wonderful option to discuss with Dr. Frahm. Make an appointment now by calling 831-372-8011 or contact us via our webform.

About Dr. Frahm

Dr. Frahm received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 2003. She completes more than 100 hours of postdoctoral training each year; earning recognition from dental experts around the country for her knowledge in the areas of cosmetic, general and restorative dentistry. Dr. Frahm is committed to providing you with excellent, comprehensive dental care. Dr. Frahm uses advanced dental techniques and technology to ensure your comfort and lasting results.

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