Crown Lengthening: An Excellent Way of Dealing with a Gummy Smile

Crown Lengthening: An Excellent Way of Dealing with a Gummy Smile

Feb 01, 2021

Crown lengthening surgery is a procedure performed to remove the excess gum tissue that covers part of the crown. Read to learn more.

Having a stunning smile can go a long way. However, not everyone is blessed to have a perfect smile. Some have crooked teeth, while others might have gaps or a gummy smile.

With a gummy smile, your teeth look smaller than they should. However, your tooth structure is the same as other people’s. The only issue is that there is excess gum tissue. Years ago, this would have been something you would just have to live with. Fortunately, this is now something that our dentist in Great Neck, NY, can easily rectify thanks to advanced dental technology.

Crown lengthening surgery is not a new procedure, and many people who have a gummy smile have had their smile transformed. It is a reasonably short procedure that takes less than 60 minutes to complete.

Crown Lengthening, In a Nutshell

Even though crown lengthening is a common procedure, it is not something that most people are familiar with. The main purpose of the crown lengthening surgery is to address the excessive gingival tissue. Most people often assume that this procedure is entirely for cosmetic purposes. However, aesthetics is an added advantage when you undergo this procedure. Excessive gingival tissue (gums) can hide decayed or broken areas of your teeth.

Typically, when you are told that you have a gummy smile, it means that you have more than 3mm of exposed gum. Soft tissue and some of the bone might be removed so that more of the tooth can be visible.

Why Do You Need the Crown Lengthening Procedure?

The crown lengthening procedure is an important dental surgery. If you want to get a dental crown and do not have enough visible tooth structure to support a crown, our Periodontist near you may recommend that you undergo this procedure. A crown that fits appropriately will be more comfortable and easier to maintain.

Besides supporting a crown or a bridge, our Periodontist in Great Neck, NY, may perform the procedure to:

  • Expose cavities that have been covered by the excess gum tissue
  • Deal with cosmetic concerns
  • Expose parts of your teeth that are fractured

Our Periodontist will leave the appropriate amount of gum so that you can maintain proper oral health. This is because you have a natural space between the surrounding tissue and the tooth’s surface known as the gingival sulcus. The sulcus can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and so if not properly cleaned, you can be at risk of getting gum disease.

However, this procedure is not recommended for everyone. We recommend consulting with our Periodontist to see if you are the right candidate for crown lengthening.

How Should You Prepare for the Crown Lengthening Procedure?

Before the surgery, you will meet with our Periodontist. This will enable our Periodontist to check your medical history and X-rays. During this visit, you can also disclose whether you are taking any medication.

You may need a professional dental cleaning so that the risk of infection after the procedure is reduced. Additionally, if your goal was to get a crown, our Periodontist will place a temporary one for protection. It will also allow our Periodontist to see how much bone or tissue to remove.

What to Expect During Crown Lengthening Procedure?

It is an outpatient procedure that takes under 60 minutes to complete. The procedure may be performed on one tooth, several teeth, or your whole gumline. Ideally, during the process, three main techniques can be used:


Our Periodontist removes the excess gum tissue using a scalpel, electrocautery, or laser with this technique. The procedure is done after the area has been numbed using local anesthesia.

Flap Surgery

Better known as apically repositioned flap surgery, flap surgery involves creating a flap of gum tissue. An incision is made on your gums by our Periodontist; then, the flap is lifted to remove the extra tissue. Then the flap will be repositioned toward the root and then stitched.

Surgical Extrusion

When you have a fractured tooth beneath your gum, our Periodontist may use this procedure to move the tooth to the appropriate position on your gum line. A splint or a wire can be used to anchor the tooth.

In Closing

The length of your recovery is dependent on the type of procedure you undergo. You will need to consume a soft diet and rinse your mouth after meals. This procedure is not recommended for everyone, so you can contact our Periodontist at Great Neck Dental Associates to schedule a consultation.

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