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Goodbye Gummy Smile: How Crown Lengthening Improves Smiles

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dental patient smiling after a crown lengthening procedure

Why so serious? It may be a question asked in one form or another if patients have a “gummy” smile they are shy about. Beyond making teeth appear longer and more uniform in length, crown lengthening can enhance the look of a smile, exposing the longer more uniform teeth that have been covered by access gum in Bloomfield Hills, MI. It can also make it easier to care for teeth and gums.

Continue reading to find out how functional and aesthetic crown lengthening can improve the health and appearance of a smile.


When To Talk To A Periodontist About Crown Lengthening

Some of the most noticeable red flags that indicate a patient may need crown lengthening includes:

Excessive Gum Tissue Covering Teeth:

Excessive gums will rise high above the natural gum line. As a result, the teeth will look smaller than they should. Plus, it may be difficult cleaning teeth properly or flossing comfortably.

The Family Dentist Has Pointed Out Excessive Gum Tissue:

Hopefully, patients are visiting their family dentist biannually for a routine teeth cleaning. During these appointments, a dentist or hygienist may mention that a patient has excessive gum tissue. In this case, seeing a trusted periodontist to discuss potential crown lengthening options makes sense.

Crowns Or Other Restorations Are Needed, But Not Enough Tooth Is Exposed:

This is where functional crown lengthening can help. Taking away some of the gum allows a dental professional to restore the damaged, decayed, cracked, or otherwise imperfect tooth.

After A Bite Or Crooked Smile Are Corrected With Orthodontics:

After the teeth are in a more appealing position, patients may notice their gums are uneven. Crown lengthening can be one method of establishing a more consistent gum line.

Remember that crown lengthening can be a way of improving the health of the mouth and the overall body system.

Patients can get personalized information on whether they need aesthetic or functional crown lengthening in the Bloomfield Hills, MI office.


Esthetic Crown Lengthening

Esthetic crown lengthening is for patients who have not experienced a natural phenomenon called Altered Passive Eruption (AEP), where bone and gum “settle” to a normal level after tooth eruption happens as an early teen. Teeth will often appear short and smiles will often appear “gummy”.

By re-establishing a normal level of the gum and related bone, the result is an enhanced aesthetic. Gums will appear to have moved up and the proportions of the teeth are aesthetically pleasing.

A trusted doctor will use a minimally invasive option to complete these procedures, and in some cases, can complete the procedure with a BioLase laser. For other cases, a minimal access tunnel is used, and bone is “pushed up” (much like a cuticle over a fingernail) to re-establish a more normal looking anatomy. The gum can then be set to drape in a natural way

Patients should be aware that 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.

A trusted doctor will examine every patient to ensure they are receiving the correct course of treatment and educate the patient about the right options for them.


Functional Crown Lengthening

While aesthetic 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 a trusted periodontist, involves creating space in the bone and gum to ultimately expose more of the tooth. This is completed so that the general dentist can adapt the crown to a sound tooth structure.

Without such procedures in cases with very minimal tooth structure remaining, crowns and restorations cannot be completed.

While their goals are different, the procedures for functional and aesthetic crown lengthening are essentially the same.


Visit A Trusted Periodontist

It is vitally important for patients to partner with a trusted periodontist when procedures like crown lengthening are needed.

Bloomfield Hills, MI has a renowned periodontist who has built a successful practice based on her reputation for excellence and compassionate care.

Through her advanced education and training, Dr. Lauren Anderson has mastered the science and art of helping dental patients who require soft tissue and related treatments. Known for putting patient comfort first, she insists on using the latest technologies at her practice. These include laser equipment and advanced protocols. Above all else, she wants patients to leave all their appointments satisfied and pleased with their experience and results.


Come Visit Us Today!

Not sure if crown lengthening is necessary for your needs? The best way to find out is by allowing our periodontist to examine you and deliver a knowledgeable opinion.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lauren Anderson at our Anderson Periodontal Wellness office to schedule an appointment for crown lengthening in Bloomfield Hills, MI today!

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