When a tooth has experienced extensive decay or fracturing, a crown (“cap”) is often recommended as the best option to cover and protect the remaining tooth structure. Occasionally, the damage is so extensive that there is not enough of tooth structure present in the mouth to support a crown. In these cases, crown lengthening surgery is often recommended. As the name indicates, this surgery lengthens the amount of tooth surface available to support a crown.
First, the area will be gently and thoroughly numbed. If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental anesthesia, please review “Anesthesia” under the “Patient Information” tab.
Next, incisions are made around the tooth and the gums are gently displaced to reveal more of the underlying tooth structure and the supportive bone. The bone and gum are carefully reshaped to allow a greater portion of the tooth to be accessible for supporting a crown. The gum is stitched into place, and allowed to heal for 1-2 weeks, at which time we will see you again for a short appointment to remove the sutures and evaluate your healing.
Once the area has healed, you general dentist can proceed with placing a custom-made crown on the newly lengthened root. Crown lengthening provides a simple, safe alternative to situations that may otherwise result in tooth loss.