Crown Lengthening

A patient is referred by their dentist to a periodontist (gum specialist) for a crown lengthening procedure around one or a number of teeth for one of the following reasons: 

  1. To improve the aesthetics of the final restorations or crowns by correcting uneven gum margins.
  2. The tooth is broken off or has a filling that extends deep below the gum line and not enough tooth is exposed to enable the dentist to properly restore the tooth.  The gum line needs to be lowered around the tooth to expose sound tooth structure.  
  3. To expose decayed areas on the tooth that extend below the gum margin allowing the dentist to place a sound restoration.  

This procedure will ensure that the final restoration of this tooth covers as much tooth as possible to strengthen it and ensure it has a good long term prognosis.  

The procedure is done under local anaesthetic.  The gum tissues are lifted away from around the teeth and the bone height around the tooth assessed.  The bone is then recontoured as necessary and then the gum tissues replaced at a lower level around the tooth.  Stitches are placed to stabilise the tissues and a dressing placed over the area of surgery to protect it.  The stitches and dressing are removed after one week and further follow-up visits arranged as necessary.  After one to three months the gum tissues have stabilised and the restoration of the tooth can then be completed.  

Any post-operative discomfort is managed with panadol or nurofen.  

Apprehensive patients can be offered a choice of oral sedation or intravenous sedation.  Intravenous sedation is administered by an anaesthetist and will incur a further cost.