Crown lengthening (crown-elongation, or crown-extension) is a surgical procedure that is done when the tooth is too short to provide adequate retention for a restoration (usually a crown).
When a tooth has a deep cavity, a crown and buildup are usually needed to restore the tooth. If the cavity extends too far below the gums, it becomes impossible to predictably make a crown that will last for any length of time. Performing crown lengthening where indicated improves the prognosis for the tooth by establishing a margin on solid tooth for the crown.
Crown lengthening nearly always involves removing and recontouring some of the bone around the tooth. This results in more tooth structure above the gums and smooth flowing gum contours. Not every tooth that needs a crown also needs crown lengthening surgery, it is only necessary when a deep cavity or crack is present.
Reasons for Crown Lengthening
What does crown lengthening involve?First, the dentist or periodontist will thoroughly numb the tooth or teeth needing crown lengthening. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. After the procedure, your dentist can now prepare the tooth for a functional, long lasting crown. As always, proper brushing and flossing is key to ensuring the maximum life of your new crown.