What is crown lengthening?
Crown lengthening involves removing excess gum tissue around teeth (especially upper teeth) to make them look longer. This allows elimination of the gum causing a gummy smile. If the gum line is uneven, your dentist can also sculpt the gum line to produce a more symmetrical, balanced smile. This procedure, often combined with dental veneers, can lead to amazing cosmetic improvements in your smile.
What is gingivectomy?
During a gingivectomy procedure, excess gingiva or gum tissue is removed. It is a less aggressive form of crown lengthening done when only gum tissue (not bone) removal is needed to achieve the desired results.
When are these procedures needed?
These gum removal procedures can also be used as an adjunct to restorative dentistry, allowing access to decay or fracture under the gum line. These procedures along with a crown or filling can save a tooth with large decay from otherwise requiring extraction.
According to the American Dental Association, nearly half of Americans over 30 have some form of gum disease (periodontal disease). Periodontal disease is the result of a variety of factors, including poor dental hygiene. Gums affected by periodontal disease don’t reattach to teeth on their own, causing pockets to develop. These pockets can be eliminated or reversed by completely removing the infected gum tissue using gingivectomy.
How are these procedures done?
For crown lengthening and gingivectomy procedures only local anesthesia is needed, and its duration depends on how many teeth require treatment. It can be done with the use of a scalpel or dental laser. Dr. Tyler uses a dental laser to perform gingivectomy procedures which minimizes post-operative pain and bleeding and speeds up the healing process. As the numbing effects wears off, you may feel some discomfort along your new gum line. You will most likely be prescribed pain medication. Recovery for crown lengthening is about 2 weeks, but you are able to return to work the day after.
Whether performing the procedure or referring to a periodontist, Dr. Tyler has the ideal training as a prosthodontist to deliver the most predicable outcomes based on pre-surgical planning. Talk to Dr. Tyler to find out if crown lengthening and/or gingivectomy can give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
Don’t forget, professional dental hygiene visits and regular dental exams will help keep your mouth healthy.