Crown lengthening is a procedure where the gum and bone around the teeth are re-shaped and sculpted to expose more of the natural tooth structure that was previously located underneath the gums. Crown lengthening is often used for smile line correction. This is used to treat gummy smiles where the gums around several teeth, usually the upper front ones, are trimmed back so that there is less gum visible when smiling. Smile line correction is also used to treat teeth that are short and squat in appearance. Performing crown lengthening on these teeth can provide more natural proportions to these short teeth.
Crown lengthening can be performed on a single tooth as well. This is most often necessary when a filling is located underneath the gums or when a tooth is broken underneath the gum line or when additional tooth structure is required to support a crown on a tooth. A crown lengthening procedure here will expose more of the tooth so that a crown or filling can be placed on it.