Are you unhappy with your smile because your teeth are too short, or you show too much gum when you smile? Do you want to show your pearly whites, but only end up showing your pale pinks (or worse, bright reds)? Crown lengthening is a procedure that can give you a larger smile, showing more teeth and less gums. There are many ways to do this, and which one is right for you depends on the exact condition of your teeth and gums.

This page will help you understand your crown lengthening options, but if you want to know which one is right for you, we recommend scheduling an appointment. Please call (949) 551-5902 or email Rice Dentistry in Irvine, California.

Causes for Gummy Smiles

Not all gummy smiles are created equal. Your gummy smile may be caused by:

  • Excess gum tissue
  • Gum inflammation
  • Short or worn teeth

The right treatment for your gummy smile will depend on the reason why you have a gummy smile.

Crown Lengthening for Excess Gum Tissue

The most common cause of a gummy smile is just having too much gum tissue. Your teeth look short, but they’re actually the right length, they’re just hidden.

Pretty-blonde-lady-smileCrown lengthening most often refers to the procedure of removing this excess gum tissue to reveal more of your beautiful white teeth. In a procedure also called gum recontouring, we remove your soft gum tissue with a laser to create an ideal balance between your teeth and your gums.

In some cases, it may be recommended that you have some of your bone removed as well. We will discuss this option with you, as well as your alternatives.

Gum Treatment for Gum Inflammation

Sometimes it may seem that you have excess gum tissue, but the problem is that your gums are swollen, usually due to gum disease. Often your gums will appear red, are tender, and will bleed when you brush or floss.

In this case, the right solution is not crown lengthening, but gum treatment. We perform nonsurgical periodontal therapy with microsonic cleaning and a laser. No scraping or cutting is involved, so you’ll get periodontal treatment that is both more effective and more comfortable. We also use targeted antibiotic delivery to ensure your gums heal quickly.

Dental Restorations for Short or Worn Teeth

If your teeth are actually short, it may not be appropriate to remove gum tissue or bone to make them appear longer. Instead, we might recommend that you build your teeth back up to a good length using porcelain veneers or dental crowns. Ironically, although this procedure lengthens the crowns of your teeth, it isn’t known as crown lengthening.

Before we add dental restorations, though, we will look for a cause for your excessively worn teeth. This is typically due to teeth grinding (bruxism) and may be associated with TMJ. If we don’t treat the underlying cause of worn teeth, your new restorations will wear out or fracture quickly.

To learn whether crown lengthening is right for you, please contact Rice Dentistry in Irvine, California today.