Gum Recontouring for Aesthetics
Gum recontouring for cosmetic purposes (often referred to as plastic surgery for gums) can enhance the appearance and health of the smile. Those who feel that they have a “gummy” smile can greatly benefit from aesthetic crown lengthening. This is a relatively simple procedure to perform and is essentially a “gum lift.”
Gum Recontouring for Function
Sometimes functional crown lengthening will be needed in order to perform a cosmetic or restorative procedure. This may be the case if a tooth is too far decayed, broken below the gum line or has insufficient structure for restoration like a crown or bridge. In cases like this, the dentist may be required to lower the gum and bone levels to expose more of the root surface so it can be restored. However, simply trimming back the gum line is not sufficient. Instead, the dentist will need to reshape the gums and supporting bone to allow for adequate room to place a high quality restoration.
Gum Recontouring before Dentures
When multiple teeth are extracted, we often recontour the gum and bone tissues to smooth out uneven areas, flatten and taper overly thin ridges, and prepare the jaw to receive dentures successfully. Not only does this procedure ensure a better fit for dentures, it helps control bleeding and improves healing time following multiple extractions. Fast healing is especially helpful for cancer patients preparing to receive head or neck radiation. For such patients, decayed teeth must be removed and the sockets completely healed prior to commencing therapy.
Crown Lengthening to Save a Tooth
The left photo shows the lower second molar (bottom back tooth) is badly broken on both the cheek and tongue side. The centre photo is 10 weeks after the crown lengthening surgery. The right photo shows the tooth with a new crown, placed 3 months after the crown lengthening surgery.