Why crown lengthening?

What on earth is crown lengthening? 

Is it something to do with making the crown bigger so it fits Prince Charles?  No of course not.  But it’s an interesting idea.

Crown lengthening describes a minor surgical procedure when the gum and bone around the tooth is re-contoured and repositioned down the tooth towards the roots so that the crown of the tooth appears longer.  Why is this useful?

Can you imagine a deep filling that goes just under the gum margin?  After a few years, you have a check-up and the dentist finds some more decay at the edge of the filling and under the filling.  If we remove the old filling, and then remove the additional decay, now we have an even deeper hole that may well go 2mm under the gum and of course the gum is inflamed and bleeds making it impossible to keep the cavity clean and dry to fill it with our super-dooper filling material.  This means either you get a filling that was contaminated with either saliva or blood or worse still both.  The filling is therefore not properly chemically bonded to the tooth structure and so before long it leaks and decay starts the circle of events all over again.

The alternative is to perform “Crown Lengthening” surgery first to re-contour the bone around the tooth and reposition the gum 2-3mm further down the tooth.  The gum heals within a few weeks as good as new, and the filling can be done according to the correct techniques.  The benefit is that the filling is well bonded to the tooth, the filling therefore does not leak and decay at the edge of the filling is prevented.

Similarly Crown Lengthening can be performed for those patients who appear all “gummy” when they smile.  Some people get what is called “delayed gingival maturation”.  This put simply means that once the teeth come into the mouth the gum fail to shrink back to the correct level on the tooth that is generally around where the root starts.  In these cases, their front teeth can appear to be very short and squat, even square in shape and unattractive.  When they smile you see the short teeth and in the upper teeth, an expanse of gum over the top of the teeth.

Crown-lengthening surgery can completely change their appearance and almost instantly give them the beautiful and disarming smile they have probably always wanted.  Remember, appearance is so important to all of us and impacts our confidence in a major way.  Patients having this type of treatment often come in with a very minimal smile, frequently covering their mouth.  After surgery, WOW!  Just try stopping them smile; they can be transformed and believe it or not, their confidence is boosted.

Now that’s “Crown-lengthening”!

Contact the friendly team at NQ Surgical Dentistry today on (07) 4725 1656 or call in to see us at 183 Kings Rd, Pimlico QLD 4812

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