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.
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.