Crown lengthening is a common periodontal procedure. Periodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on the support structures for your teeth including the periodontal tissue (better known as your gums).
Crown lengthening can serve a variety of purposes. If your dentist or periodontist has recommended crown lengthening, you may be wondering if it is really necessary.
What is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening is a procedure that involves the removal of a small amount of your gum tissue to expose more of the tooth structure. Before the procedure, local anesthesia will be applied to numb your gums so that you won’t feel anything during the procedure. Then the necessary amount of gum tissue will be removed to achieve the desired result. A few stitches may be required to promote healing of the remaining gum tissue. These stitches will usually need to be removed the following week.
Reasons for Crown Lengthening
There are a few different purposes for crown lengthening:
- Cosmetic improvement. Some people have a genetic disposition that causes excess gum tissue to cover the teeth, resulting in a “gummy smile.” Crown lengthening can remove the excess tissue to expose a larger portion of your teeth, giving you a more natural looking smile. In this case, crown lengthening is an elective procedure that is not medically necessary.
- Crown preparation. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed over a tooth that is severely decayed or damaged. When there is not enough tooth material left to attach a crown, crown lengthening can remove some of the gum tissue so there is room for a crown to be placed. This may be the only way to save your tooth, which makes it a medically necessary procedure.
Benefits of Crown Lengthening
Crown lengthening offers many benefits:
- Increased confidence. By improving the appearance of your smile, you can feel more confident, smiling more often in your daily life and feeling better about yourself.
- Save your natural tooth. Crown lengthening for the placement of a dental crown can make it possible to save your natural tooth, rather than having it extracted and replaced with an artificial tooth.
- Improved oral health. Removing excess gum tissue can improve periodontal health, allowing your gums to provide adequate support for your teeth.
- Quick procedure. Crown lengthening is a relatively short procedure, taking between 30 and 60 minutes to complete.
Is Crown Lengthening Absolutely Necessary?
You never have to get a dental procedure you don’t want, but the benefits of crown lengthening make it worth doing in many cases. It is considered medically necessary if the purpose is to restore your tooth with a crown or to treat existing gum disease. Getting crown lengthening for cosmetic purposes is just as worthy of a cause. The main difference is that if it is medically necessary, your dental insurance may cover it. Dental insurance does not typically cover cosmetic procedures.
Who Should I See for Crown Lengthening?
If you need crown lengthening for any purpose, Holzinger Periodontics & Dental Implants specializes in this procedure. We have helped many patients preserve their natural teeth, improve their oral health, and transform their smiles with crown lengthening. We provide the latest technology to make the procedure quick, accurate, and minimally invasive.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.