Crown Lengthening: A safe, proven approach to saving teeth.

Dr. Alger performs crown lengthening treatments that help a patient’s dentist successfully treat decay, fractures, or fillings.

What is crown lengthening?

A tooth is anatomically divided into two parts. The root is the longest part of a tooth and anchors it to the jawbone. The crown is the enamel portion of the tooth and is the visible above the gum line. Crown lengthening seeks to make this latter portion of the tooth longer.

Crown lengthening is often performed at a general dentist’s request to provide better access to treat teeth that are fractured, decayed or affected by a cracked filling. By gently elevating gum tissue off of the tooth roots and suturing them at a lower level, Dr. Alger gives a general dentist the necessary room to treat conditions that were previously under the gum line.

Sometimes, a patient’s gums cover a large portion of tooth enamel. This creates what is often referred to as a “gummy smile.” Esthetic crown lengthening can be performed by Dr. Alger in order to carefully reduce the gum line to make a smile look more natural.

What can I expect during the procedure?

Crown lengthening requires teamwork with your dentist to achieve ideal health conditions and a pleasant smile. During a typical treatment, you can expect the following:

  • Dr. Alger will explain the procedure in detail before the day of the surgery.
  • You will be made comfortable with a slowly administered local anesthetic.
  • Dr. Alger will gently elevate the gum tissues away from your tooth roots, in order to have full access to the tooth.
  • The crown is “lengthened“ by repositioning the gum tissues to a lower level and suturing them in place giving your dentist access to decay or fracture extended under the gum line.
  • In some cases, a very small amount of adjacent bone may need to be removed to achieve the proper results.
  • You’ll experience minimal discomfort following the surgery and your sutures will be removed within two weeks.
  • Generally, you will return to your dentist within 6 weeks to have the necessary filling or porcelain crown placed.

While there are crown lengthening techniques that advocate removing bone tissues without elevating a gum flap, Dr. Alger believes that it is a shortcut that compromises the final result and he does not utilize the technique. Our focus is always on achieving excellent results for a patient’s smile through proven techniques.