Crown Lengthening

Types of Crown Lengthening:

Functional Lengthening: In some cases, a restoration (artificial crown) is needed. Gum and bone are removed to expose enough tooth to anchor the new crown. This also helps prevent future damage to gum and bone near restoration

Cosmetic Lengthening: This is done to remove an overgrowth of gum tissue that causes a “gummy” smile. During this procedure, excess gum tissue and/or bone is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This procedure is often done on the upper front six to eight teeth to create a beautiful smile,  just like the pictures you’ve seen in many magazines. The procedure takes approximately one and a half hours using topical and local anesthetic. In some instances, dissolving sutures may be utilized. Most patients experience minimal discomfort. Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen post-operative is sufficient and is accompanied by an anti-microbial rinse for about one week. The patient may experience slight redness of the gums around the treated teeth, but can resume normal activities, including sports..

When a tooth is fractured or decay extends below the gum line, this area must be uncovered before it can be restored, for a number of reasons.
In order for the gum to heal against the tooth in a healthy manner, there must be 3 millimeters of healthy tooth between the margin of a filling or cap and the crest of the bone which supports the tooth. This allows space for proper attachment of the gum to the tooth

A tooth which is broken or decayed below the gum is also difficult, if not impossible, for your dentist to restore correctly, as access and visualization of the area is compromised.  In addition, even the best filling or cap will trap bacteria where the restoration meets the tooth.  If this area is below the gum where you can not properly clean it, the bacterial accumulation results in both periodontal problems and the formation of a new cavity at the base of the filling.

A crown lengthening procedure, which reshapes the gum and supporting tissues, will solve these problems.  After treatment, the fractured or decayed area is uncovered and accessible to the dentist for restoration, and the needed space has been established between the supporting tissues and the final position of the restoration.  This will allow a final restoration to be placed in a healthy environment.


Oak Hills Periodontics, Dr. Pamela Ray, and Dr. Díaz are periodontists in the Oak Hills community of San Antonio, Texas. We strive to provide the best dental care in San Antonio.

Our doctors and staff frequently attend continuing education seminars to learn the latest dental techniques. Our dental services include treatment for Periodontal DiseaseDental ImplantsCrown LengtheningGum Plastic Surgery, and more. Contact us today!

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Phone: 210-616-0980 

5419 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, TX 78229


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