Crown Lengthening

Clinical and aesthetic crown lengthening are treatments performed by the periodontist, in collaboration with your general dentist, in order to achieve the best functional and aesthetic results for your healthy smile.  

Gum tissue provides the foundation that holds teeth and all restorative work performed on them.  In addition to function and integrity, the gums are the aesthetic framework for your smile.  Removal of excess tissue, building up of minimal gum tissue, and recontouring of existing tissues are procedures periodontists routinely perform to provide the best possible framework for your  smile.

Conventional crown lengthening

Often when a tooth fractures or has a very large filling, the damage extends below the gum line and into the bone below.  In order for your dentist to restore the tooth to normal function, a crown-lengthening procedure is required.  Done by the periodontist, this involves  the removal and re-contouring of the gum and bone surrounding the tooth. This provides your dentist with sufficient tooth to work with in order to place the crown so that it will have a better chance of being retained on the tooth and to allow the gum tissues to be healthy.

Example of tooth fracture below the gum line

In this condition, the restorative dentist cannot access the remaining tooth structure and restore this tooth adequately.

A periodontal procedure is required to remove some bone and expose the remaining tooth structure.

Tooth with fracture fully exposed, after periodontal procedure


Final bone and gum level after healing.

The remaining tooth structure is accessible to the restorative dentist.

Fully-restored tooth




Aesthetic crown lengthening

In some cases, during normal growth and development, too much gum tissue forms around the teeth.  This is often referred to as a “gummy” smile.  In these situations, teeth appear shortened and the gum margin where the gum contacts the teeth may appear to have a ledge rather than a fine contour line.  Similar to conventional crown lengthening, aesthetic crown lengthening has the primary goal of establishing proper gingival contours and exposing the complete crown of the tooth.  This procedure can provide a dramatic change to one’s smile.

Below, are a few examples of cases where aesthetic crown lengthening transformed smiles.



In this example, the pre-treatment photo shows, a gummy smile, rotated teeth and old fillings.

Following orthodontic treatment, an aesthetic crown lengthening was performed and crowns were placed on the two central incisors.






In this example, the patient didn’t like the overall appearance of her smile.

Following an aesthetic crown lengthening, crowns and veneers were placed on eight top teeth, giving the patient an outstanding, beautiful result.


Your dentist can discuss your smile and whether crown lengthening is something you might benefit from!