Goodbye Gummy Smile: How Crown Lengthening Improves Smiles

dental patient smiling after a crown lengthening procedure

Why so serious? It’s likely a question you have heard in one form or another if you have a “gummy” smile you are shy about. Beyond making teeth appear longer and more uniform in length, crown lengthening can enhance your confidence to smile, exposing the longer more uniform teeth that have been covered by access gum. It can also make it easier to care for your teeth and gums. Find out how functional and esthetic crown lengthening can improve the health and appearance of your smile.

Esthetic Crown Lengthening

Esthetic crown lengthening is indicated for patients who genetically have not experienced a natural phenomenon called altered passive eruption where bone and gum to not “settle” to a normal level after tooth eruption as an early teen. Teeth often appear short and smiles often appear “gummy”.  By reestablishing a normal level of the gum and related bone, an enhanced esthetic result is noted. Gums appear to have moved up and the proportions of the teeth are esthetically pleasing. Dr. Anderson uses a minimally invasive option to complete these procedures and in some cases, can complete the procedure with a BioLase laser on its own. For other cases, a minimal access tunnel is used and bone is “pushed up” (much like a cuticle over your fingernail) to reestablish more normal anatomy. The gum can then be set to drape in a natural, anatomic way. 

Note: Crown lengthening entails reshaping both the gums and bone. If the bone is not enhanced, the procedure is simply known as “gingival contouring” or “gingivectomy” and is often correlated with gum level relapse. Dr. Anderson will examine your presentation to ensure you are receiving the correct course of treatment and educate you in detail as to your options. 

Functional Crown Lengthening

While esthetic crown lengthening aims to improve the appearance of a smile, functional crown lengthening is used to facilitate the placement of dental restorations

Functional crown lengthening, completed by your periodontist, involves creating mores space in the bone and gum and ultimately expose more tooth structure. This is completed so that the general dentist can adapt a crown to sound tooth structure. In cases with very minimal tooth structure remaining, without such procedures, crowns and restorations cannot be completed. While their goals are different, the procedures for functional and esthetic crown lengthening are essentially the same (as described above). 

More on Crown Lengthening in Bloomfield Hills, MI

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lauren Anderson of Anderson Periodontal Wellness to learn more about crown lengthening in Bloomfield Hills, MI. 

Esthetic Crown Lengthening: What does my mouth look like right after the procedure?

before crown lengthening

after crown lengthening

Please see above for before and immediately after crown lengthening procedures. Note the clear sutures will dissolve over 4-7 days and placed to minimize esthetic issues over the 2 week post-operative period.

Meet our 21 year old patient BM who presented with a chief concern “My teeth don’t match my age, I would like longer teeth”.  BM planned to return to college after his appointment and was curious as to how he would look immediately after surgery. Please see above for before and immediately after crown lengthening surgery. Typically results are shown once healing is complete, however, Dr. Anderson feels that it is important for patients to know what to expect during, right after and months after the procedure.

BM was pleased with the results and “how fast the appointment went”. Please note a few clear sutures called “chromic gut” which were strategically placed to keep the gum at the proper level but in places that are mostly hidden when RJ spoke or laughed. BM will return in 3 months for Dr. Anderson to evaluate the results and give clearance for BM to return to his general dentist.

If you are interested in learning more about esthetic crown lengthening, Dr. Anderson would be happy to evaluate your unique case and educate you as to the etiology or cause of your presentation, the specifics of the procedure, expected results and post-operative care. Please call our office at (248) 480-4910 to make an appointment with at Anderson Periodontal Wellness in Bloomfield Hills, Mi.

Find Your Smile with a Multi-Disciplinary Approach!


Full mouth rehabilitation done right! 

Meet our patient JG. JG sought out Dr. Anderson and our team to “improve the look and function of [his] teeth.” The upper right central incisor, “#8” was fractured, the bite collapsed over time, and the gum was of uneven contour. In working closely with JG’s general dentist, a comprehensive plan was developed to reach the chief concern.

Dr. Anderson leveled the gum profile and placed an implant the same day she extracted #8. After ample time healing, JG’s talented general dentist completed the case with full mouth restorations to address the weaknesses in his “occlusion” or bite and an implant crown on the central incisor.

JG is delighted with his results! Not only did his appearance improve to resemble his smile 20 years ago, but his confidence also returned as a result. Most importantly, the occlusion is now stable to protect his bite from collapsing. Happy patient!

If you feel you have a challenging case, contact our office for a consultation with Dr. Anderson and learn about what we can do to help you reach your goals!  Reach Anderson Periodontal Wellness at (248) 480-4910.

Find Your Smile with Esthetic Crown Lengthening

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Meet our patient FD. He presents with clinically healthy teeth and no disease, however, does not like the “spacing of his teeth and difference in size of the teeth”. FD, as part of a comprehensive multi-specialty approach, was referred to Dr. Anderson to make the teeth more proportional to allow for the general dentist to have the proper foundation for esthetic crown work. Dr. Anderson diagnosed FD with “altered passive eruption” where the gum and bone did not properly contract after tooth eruption resulting in short teeth and uneven gingival architecture or “gum line”. Dr. Anderson completed the crown lengthening procedure in an hour allowing FD to return to work the same day.

Please see above for before (left) and after crown lengthening with Dr. Anderson and final crowns with his general dentist (right).


As a diplomate and board certified periodontist, Dr. Lauren Anderson provides services involving dental implants, periodontics, tooth loss, implantology, crown lengthening, cosmetic dentistry, and plastic surgery in Birmingham, Troy, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Troy, Ferndale, Royal Oak, and surrounding Oakland County, Michigan. To schedule your consult please call (248) 480-4910

Crown Lengthening Fixes a Gummy Smile

fix gummy smile before and after

Above, before and after esthetic crown lengthening with Dr. Anderson

When you smile do you see short teeth and more gums than teeth?

If so, chances are your gums are covering your teeth.  This is called “excessive gingival display” and is usually caused by the gum and supporting structures failing to recede after the tooth grows into your jaw.

This phenomenon, also known as “altered passive eruption”, is easy and quick to fix.  If you see too much gum or short teeth ask Dr. Lauren Anderson if you may be a candidate for esthetic crown lengthening treatment.

Learn more today by scheduling an appointment or by calling (248) 480-4910.

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