Crown lengthening (or crown exposure) is often required to ensure that the new crown will fit properly, and minimize the chance of new decay forming at the cement line or margin. It also prevents inflammation and bone loss which occurs when the crown is placed too close to the bone. It is needed when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration and the edge of that restoration is deep below the gum tissue and not accessible.
The procedure involves adjusting the level of the gum tissue and bone around the tooth in question to create a new gum-to-tooth relationship. This allows the dentist to reach the edge of the restoration, ensuring a proper fit to the tooth and providing enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come too close to the bone. This allows you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss, preventing decay and gum disease.
The procedure takes approximately one hour. When the procedure is completed, sutures are placed to help secure the new gum-to-tooth relationship. You will need to be seen in one or two weeks to remove the sutures and evaluate your healing.