Crown lengthening is a procedure performed when a tooth needs a new crown or other restoration. Often there is not enough tooth exposed for your dentist to attach the restoration to, or when the edge of that restoration is deep below the gum tissue and not immediately accessible. It is also usually too close to the attachment of the gum tissues to the tooth, and if not corrected can lead to gum problems once the restoration is placed.
This procedure involves adjusting the level of the supporting tissues around the tooth to create a new gum-to-tooth relationship. This allows your dentist to predictably reach the edge of the restoration, ensuring a proper fit. In addition, it provides increased retention of the crown, reducing the possibility of the crown coming off in the future.
Crown lengthening takes approximately one hour but will largely depend on the number of teeth involved. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic, and can also be performed under sedation if you desire. Once the procedure is complete a healing period of six weeks is usually necessary before your dentist can proceed with the new crown or restoration.