Crown Lengthening


The ultimate goal of your dental team is to provide you with a healthy and aesthetically pleasing smile. In doing so, the proper ratio of tooth and gum needs to be present so that the size of your teeth fits the frame of your smile. The “Crown” is the part of your tooth that is visible above the gum.

In some situations, part of the “Crown” is still being covered by excess gum tissue. This situation often leaves patients with a “Gummy” smile. Teeth with excess gum tissue may appear shorter than normal.

There are also occasions where your dentist may be preparing your tooth or teeth for “Caps” (also called “Crowns”). There must be sufficient healthy tooth structure present ABOVE the gum line for the crown to be cemented into place to achieve proper retention. Frequently, the dentist must remove decay below the gum line to reach healthy tooth structure. In order for the final crown to be cemented, conservative removal of surrounding tissues may be necessary. This procedure is typically requested by your dentist.




After achieving anesthesia in the areas to be treated, excess gum tissue is removed and  bone tissue is recontoured leaving the proper amount of tooth structure above the gum line. Dissolvable sutures are used around the site.

The procedure typically lasts less than an hour and patients (if choosing not to undergo sedation) usually can return to work the same day. Follow-up visits are usually scheduled for 1 and 3 weeks after the procedure. If a permanent “Crown” is going the be cemented by your dentist, 4-6 weeks of healing time is usually required prior, to allow for proper tissue maturation.