When you think about a beautiful smile, what comes to mind? Most people tend to only think about the teeth. However, even if your teeth are perfectly straight and pearly white, your smile may still not be what you want. This is because your gums also play a role in the appearance of your smile. Excess gum tissue can make even the most perfect teeth appear small. At Neil Starr, DDS, PC, we can help you to achieve the beautiful smile you have always wanted with crown lengthening.
What is Crown Lengthening?
Also known as an aesthetic gum lift, crown lengthening is a cosmetic procedure that is performed to remove excess gum tissue, giving you a more natural gum line and making your teeth appear longer. Depending on your situation, the procedure may also involve the removal of a small amount of bone.
What to Expect During Your Crown Lengthening
Crown lengthening is performed under a local anesthetic. In the past, it used to be done using a scalpel, but today we perform the procedure using a laser. The laser uses a concentrated beam of light to remove excess tissue. The laser provides pinpoint accuracy, reducing tissue trauma. It also cauterizes the tissue as it cuts, significantly reducing bleeding. The procedure begins with small incisions in your gums. We then separate the tissue from your teeth and remove the excess tissue. Depending on your needs, we may also remove a small amount of bone. Once we have finished, your gums are stitched closed along your teeth. The results are noticeable immediately and improve as you heal. The length of your procedure depends upon how many teeth require correction and if you need to have bone removed as well. After you have fully healed from the procedure, you are left with a more beautiful, confident smile that you will find yourself showing off at any opportunity.
Functional Purposes for Crown Lengthening
Crown lengthening is typically done for aesthetic reasons, but it does have some functional purposes as well.
||Crown placement. Crowns are used to protect damaged teeth from further harm as well as prevent infections. They are caps made to cover the entire visible surface of a tooth. However, when you have excess gum tissue, the tissue can prevent the proper placement of the crown, decreasing the effectiveness of the restoration. With a crown lengthening, we remove the excess tissue, enabling us to place the crown so that it can provide you with optimal protection.
||Cavity treatment. Cavities are treated with fillings. Treatment involves the removal of the decay from the cavity and the placement of the filling material to prevent further damage. A cavity at the gum line can be difficult to treat. The decay may not be fully removed, or the cavity may not be filled. Removing excess tissue aids in ensuring that a cavity is properly treated.
||Periodontal health. Excess gum tissue provides plenty of hiding places for oral bacteria. It also makes your gums harder to keep clean. These issues can greatly increase your risk for gum disease. By removing excess tissue, we eliminate hiding places for bacteria as well as make it easier for you to maintain the health of your gums and your mouth.
If your smile is hindered by excess gum tissue, a crown lengthening may be able to improve its appearance. With your smile improved, you will regain the confidence to show it off. Call Neil Starr, DDS, PC at (202) 293-7177 to schedule your consultation today.