Functional and Aesthetic Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening seeks to expose more tooth surface by repositioning the gums. There are two types of crown lengthening:

  • functional
  • esthetic

Functional crown lengthening is used when the tooth is too short to retain a crown. In order to expose more tooth surface, supporting bone around that tooth and adjacent teeth will need to be removed. In some instances, this may weaken the tooth and adjacent teeth or may pose esthetic challenges. If that’s the case, these risks will be discussed and an alternate plan will be recommended.

Esthetic crown lengthening is performed in cases of uneven gingival display or excessive gingival display (“gummy smile”). The exact amount of lengthening is determined in consultation with the orthodontist, or general dentist, or both (assuming restorative or orthodontic treatment is needed), and is based on the esthetic desires of the patient.