Let’s say you have several pictures you want to display side by side on a wall. Imagine that they’re each held in a different frame. Although the pictures are of a similar theme, some of the frames are simple, thin types while others are varying sizes, colors and degrees of ornateness. Obviously, the disharmony of the frames would detract from the unified grouping.
Now, think of your teeth and their ‘frames.’ Esthetically, the arch of gum tissue over each tooth serves as a complementary border. When the level of gum tissue over each is similar to that of neighboring teeth, this gum tissue enhances a smile’s appearance .
While gum tissues play a very important part in our oral health by sealing out oral bacteria and protecting tooth roots, they can also affect the way a smile appears. For example, people who have a gummy smile (think Katie Couric) expose too much gum tissue above the upper teeth most visible in a smile. This can be resolved in a procedure known as a gingivectomy that removes excess gum tissue for a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance.
Yet, when just a few teeth are bordered by a noticeable difference in gum tissue levels, it can create a jumbled look that detracts from a smile. The procedure most commonly performed to correct this is known as crown lengthening, also referred to as a gum lift.
Crown lengthening is most often performed as a cosmetic dental procedure to expose more of the tooth. When some teeth look shorter than others, crown lengthening removes gum tissue over upper teeth so they appear longer.
In addition to esthetic reasons, crown lengthening may be performed for oral health reasons. For example, if a tooth has decay or a fracture below the gum line, crown lengthening may be able to expose more of the tooth. In some cases, this makes it possible to place a tooth-colored filling or crown, preventing the need to remove the tooth.
In our office, we typically perform the crown lengthening procedure using a dental laser. This laser reshapes selected areas of the gums by removing small amounts of tissue. In addition to its ability to perform precision gum tissue re-contouring, it simultaneously seals the tissues involved in treatment. This enhances comfort and helps to reduce healing time.
Crown lengthening is typically performed with a local anesthetic. However, sedation is available if the patient desires. We offer both Oral and I.V. sedation.
Typically, patients are able to resume as normal in a day or two. Depending on the patient, complete healing may take one to two weeks. People who smoke can expect longer healing times.
If your smile would benefit with crown lengthening or a gingivectomy, call 586-739-2155 to request a no-charge, no obligation consultation. During this time, I’ll explain the procedure and answer your questions. If desired, we can have our Financial Coordinator discuss easy payment plans that are interest-free with no down payment.
Your smile is more than mere teeth and gums. Visually, it is the combination of both that make up a smile’s appearance and plays a major role in facial appearance. Have the healthy, beautiful smile you desire! Let’s discuss if crown lengthening or a gingivectomy would work for your needs and goals.