What Alternatives Are

What Alternatives Are There for Crown Lengthening?

Team Dental Crown

Crown lengthening is a procedure used to remove periodontal (gum) tissue in order to expose more of the crown portion of a tooth. This may be done for cosmetic reasons to correct a “gummy” smile or to make room for a prosthetic crown to be placed over a damaged tooth. 

If you are considering crown lengthening, you may also be wondering if there are any alternatives to this procedure. Here’s what you need to know to determine the best treatment option for you. 

What is Crown Lengthening? 

Crown lengthening involves removal of a portion of the gum tissue that is covering one or more teeth. This can be done with traditional dental tools or with a dental laser. The result is a tooth that is ready for a crown or a smile that looks more natural. 

Potential Alternatives to Crown Lengthening 

If crown lengthening is not in the best interest of your dental health, or if you would prefer not to have this procedure, there are a few alternatives. 

Alternatives to single tooth crown lengthening: 

  • Margin elevation. When there is not enough tooth material above the gums to place a crown over a tooth, margin elevation is an alternative. Margin elevation can make room for a crown to be placed without removing gum tissue.  
  • Tooth extraction and replacement. You can always choose to have the tooth extracted and replaced with a bridge or dental implant instead of getting crown lengthening. 

Alternatives for cosmetic crown lengthening: 

  • Orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment can change the position of the teeth and the shape of the jaw, which can expose more of the teeth and reduce gum tissue coverage. 
  • Veneers. Veneers are thin, shell-like covers that are attached to the front side of your teeth. These can make the teeth appear longer so that the gum tissue does not need to be altered. 
  • Gingivectomy. A gingivectomy involves removal of a small portion of gum tissue. It is less invasive for a faster recovery. This procedure is effective for minor cosmetic improvements. 
  • Lip lowering. The gum tissue can be altered beneath the lip rather than the portion that is covering the teeth. This helps pull the gum tissue back from the teeth to expose more tooth material. 
  • Botox. When Botox is administered to the upper lip it can relax the muscles and allow the lip to cover more of the gum tissue when you smile. 

Is Crown Lengthening the Best Option For Me?

Whether or not crown lengthening is the right procedure for you or if an alternative option would be better, depends on a variety of factors. The best way to make a decision is to talk to your dentist or periodontist. They can assess the situation and make a recommendation that will give you the best results in the least invasive manner. 

Who Provides Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening may be done by a general dentist or a periodontist. Periodontists specialize in diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the gum tissue, making them particularly skilled and experienced at crown lengthening procedures and alternatives.  

Holzinger Periodontics & Dental Implants provides crown lengthening, as well as alternative procedures. If you need a crown on a difficult tooth or want to improve your smile, we can recommend and provide the best treatment option for you. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment at one of our 2 convenient locations.