Your smile is the first thing that people notice about you. One of the biggest factors in the quality of your smile is how your teeth look. Are they straight? Do they have any stains? Are there any blemishes? While your teeth are incredibly important in the appearance of your smile, so, too, is how your gums look. Excess gum tissue can significantly impact the quality of your smile, regardless of how perfect your teeth are. At Southern Arizona Periodontics, we can help to improve your smile, and your oral health, with crown lengthening.
What is Crown Lengthening?
When you have excess gum tissue, your smile can be significantly impacted, even if your teeth are otherwise perfect. Often called a gummy smile, excess gum tissue can cause your teeth to appear much smaller than natural, making them look almost like baby teeth. Excess gum tissue can also have an impact on your oral health, and our ability to perform certain necessary procedures.
A crown lengthening is a procedure that is performed to eliminate excess gum tissue, restoring a more natural, healthy gum line that improves both the quality of your smile and the health of your mouth. Traditionally, the procedure has been performed using a scalpel. Today, it is performed using a laser, which provides greater accuracy and is much less invasive.
Improving Your Smile
A crown lengthening is frequently used to restore a beautiful smile. Done under a local anesthetic, small incisions are made in the gums, and the necessary tissue is removed. With a laser, we can specifically target tissue and remove only what is necessary. If necessary, a small amount of bone is also removed to provide optimal aesthetic results. Your gums are sutured back against your teeth. The results of your crown lengthening are visible immediately, and your smile continues to improve as you heal.
Placing Dental Restorations
In addition to being a cosmetic treatment, crown lengthening also has several functional purposes. One of these purposes is to effectively place dental restorations, such as dental crowns. A crown treats a damaged tooth, protecting it from further harm. This restoration covers the entire visible surface of your tooth, completely encasing it to protect it and restore its strength. If you have excess gum tissue, a crown may not fit properly on your damaged tooth, which can leave it vulnerable to new damage or infections. With a crown lengthening, the excess tissue is removed, and your crown can be properly placed on your tooth.
Treating Cavities at the Gum Line
Cavities that form at the gum line can be tricky. Decay may develop under the gum line and can be difficult to eliminate. These types of cavities can also be difficult to fill effectively, which can leave the affected tooth vulnerable to new decay and potential infections. With a crown lengthening, we can remove the tissue near the cavity to ensure that it is completely cleaned and properly filled.
Improving Periodontal Health
Excess gum tissue can more easily collect bacteria and other debris and can be difficult to keep properly clean. As a result, your risk for developing periodontal disease greatly increases. Eliminating excess gum tissue helps to get rid of hiding places. Bacteria and other debris cannot hide as easily, and your gums are easier to maintain. This allows you to more effectively protect your mouth against the development of periodontal disease.
With a crown lengthening, we are not only able to help improve the quality of your smile, but we can also greatly improve your oral health. Call Southern Arizona Periodontics at 520-322-9300 for more information and to schedule your appointment today.