If you have a “gummy smile,” you may dislike its appearance and lack confidence when you smile. Or, you may need to have a portion of your gums contoured to make additional room for the placement of a dental restoration, such as a crown or a bridge. Whether it is for oral health purposes or to change the appearance of a gummy smile, crown lengthening at the dental practice of Claire Cho, DDS in Aliso Viejo, CA may be the best choice for you.
What is crown lengthening?
Also called a “gum lift” or “soft tissue recontouring,” crown lengthening can be a cosmetic or restorative procedure that changes the shape of your gum line so that it is more symmetrical, decreasing the amount of gum tissue that is covering the teeth and increasing the length of the visible portion of the tooth crown. For patients who suffer from gum disease, this treatment might be recommended as a way to control the disease by reducing the depth of the pockets that form between your teeth and gums, where bacteria reside and multiply. In other cases, soft tissue recontouring might be recommended to expose more of the tooth if it has become decayed or broken beneath the gumline.
If you are having the procedure done as part of a dental restoration or gum disease treatment plan, only one or a few teeth may be contoured, whereas many patients who have the procedure done for aesthetic purposes have their whole smile treated.
How the procedure is performed
The gummy smile correction procedure is done with local anesthesia to keep you comfortable throughout your treatment. After the area is thoroughly numb, Dr. Cho makes small incisions in precise locations to help separate the teeth and gums. For some patients, a small amount of bone may also need to be removed for a natural appearance or to help shape the area for a new dental restoration.
Once the gum tissue is removed, we sterilize the treatment area and place sutures and a bandage over it to promote healing and healthy re-attachment of the gums.
After your treatment is complete:
- We will schedule a follow-up appointment one to two weeks after your procedure to check on your recovery progress and remove the sutures
- Most patients completely heal within six to eight weeks after the procedure
- After the area has healed, we can place any final restorations such as bridges, veneers, or crowns as needed
To learn more about gummy smile treatment or crown lengthening to restore oral health, call the dental practice of Claire Cho, D.D.S. today! Our Aliso Viejo office serves patients in the Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Laguna Woods, and neighboring communities and can be reached at (949) 541-2529.