A crown lengthening is performed when too much of the tooth is covered by gum tissue. This can cause a patient’s smile to look “gummy” and their teeth to appear short, even if all of their teeth are actually the proper length.
The procedure involves the reshaping and removal of either gum or bone tissue (or both), and is usually faster if only gum tissue needs to be altered. Crown lengthening isn’t just a cosmetic procedure, sometimes a crown lengthening is necessary to expose more of a tooth so that it can be restored. A patient may have a broken tooth, for example, that goes beneath the gum line. The periodontist can perform a crown lengthening to expose more of the tooth so a porcelain crown or bridge can be added.