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Crown Lengthening: An Easy Fix for a Gummy Smile

A beautiful smile relies on an optimal balance between your gums and teeth. If your teeth are very small or you have excess gum tissue, you can wind up with what’s known as a “gummy smile” — along with self-conscious feelings about your smile’s aesthetics. 

Gummy smiles aren’t uncommon, and the good news is, we can fix them. Crown lengthening is a time-tested treatment for gummy smiles, creating the ideal ratio between visible gum and visible teeth, for a smile that looks healthy and attractive.

As a leading cosmetic dentistry practice in Queen Creek, Arizona, Goodman Dental Center helps patients achieve their ideal smile with crown lengthening treatments customized on a patient-by-patient basis. 

In this post, Brian Goodman, DDS, and Tanner Goodman, DMD, explain the basics of crown lengthening to help you decide if it’s an option you’d like to explore.

Crown lengthening: The basics

The goal of a cosmetic crown lengthening treatment is simple: We expose more of your natural tooth by removing excess gum tissue, so your smile appears more balanced and aesthetically pleasing. 

Technically, gum exposure of 1-2 millimeters is considered ideal, while exposures of 3 millimeters or more constitute what we recognize as a gummy smile.

Medically, we also perform crown lengthening to prepare a tooth that will support a crown or bridge — particularly, when the tooth is too small to provide adequate support and strength for a restoration.

As a cosmetic procedure, crown lengthening relies on a deep understanding of oral anatomy, along with an appreciation of smile aesthetics. Our team has significant experience combining the medical and artistic expertise necessary to achieve beautiful results.

What to expect during and after your treatment

For crown lengthening, we use a local anesthetic to numb the gum tissue and the tooth. Depending on your goals, we can perform crown lengthening on one or several teeth in one visit.

Once the anesthetic takes effect, we use special techniques to gently lift and cut away excess gum tissue. Once we remove the tissue, we contour the gums so they look natural. In some instances, we may need to reshape the bone underneath the gum for a satisfying result.

Afterward, it’s normal to have some swelling and discomfort; over-the-counter medications can help, and you can also gently apply ice to your cheek. Keeping your head elevated helps reduce swelling.

We provide you with complete care instructions for cleaning the area, as well as guidance on what to eat and drink during the initial healing period. You come back in for follow-up visits so we can monitor your healing.

Help your smile look its best

Don’t let a gummy smile make you feel self-conscious. To learn how crown lengthening can help, request an appointment online or over the phone with our team at Goodman Dental Center today.

by Goodman Dental Center

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