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Crown Lengthening

Crown Lengthening

This is a surgical procedure performed to expose a greater amount of tooth crown structure for the purpose of subsequently restoring the tooth with a dental crown. This is done by incising the gum tissue around the tooth and, after temporarily displacing the soft tissue, predictably removing a given height of alveolar bone from the circumference of the tooth being operated on.

Indications for this procedure:

  1. Root fracture.
  2. Crown fracture leading to inadequate crown length remaining for a crown.
  3. Perforation of the tooth root.
  4. Inadequate crown length due to tooth wear.
  5. Below the gum decay on the root surface of the tooth.

Contra-indications for crown lengthening

  1. Smoking is a contra-indication to most gum surgeries including crown lengthening.
  2. Thin gum tissue.
  3. Poor oral hygiene.
  4. Where the furcation between the roots of a molar tooth will become exposed following crown lengthening.
  5. Unfavourable crown to root ratio being created by crown lengthening. i.e. the crown becoming longer than the root following crown lengthening surgery.
  6. Front teeth with long clinical crowns.
  7. An unrestorabe tooth after surgery.

Before we carry out crown lengthening surgery, we take impressions, x-rays and photos of your teeth and provide you with a mock-up wax-up of the crown so that you can see how the final crown of the tooth will look before we begin any crown lengthening surgery.

Types of crown lengthening surgery available at Pearl Dental Clinic

  1. Reducing gum tissue (gingivectomy) using laser gum surgery.
  2. Apically repositioned gum surgery which is carried out by our specialist periodontist (specialist in gum treatment).
  3. Apically repositioned gum surgery with bone reduction which is carried out by our specialist periodontist (specialist in gum treatment).
  4. Forced root eruption with orthodontics.
  5. Forced root eruption with surgery.

Crown lengthening surgery risks

  1. Small black triangles appearing between teeth.
  2. Rebound of gum tissue. The distance between soft tissue margin and crest of the bone is genetically determined, so soft tissue will re-grow to its genetically predetermined height in relation to bone.
  3. Change in colour pigment of gum. Although this will be minimal.
  4. Transient tooth mobility.
  5. Root sensitivity. Once the root is exposed, if it’s not covered by a crown or a veneer, the root can become sensitive.
  6. Gingival recession, as gum tissue can recede post gum surgery.
  7. Root resorption.

During your crown lengthening consultation we inform you of alternatives to crown lengthening surgery such as orthodontic tooth extrusion or extraction of the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant or a dental bridge.

After crown lengthening is carried out, the final crown restoration is usually placed onto the tooth between 2-6 months after the crown lengthening surgery.

Instructions that you should follow after periodontal crown lengthening surgery

  1. Rest your mouth for the first 3 hours.
  2. Apply ice packs to your face for at least 1 hour.
  3. Eat a soft diet for the first 24 hours.
  4. Favour the opposite side of the mouth for 1 week.
  5. Brush and floss except in the treated area.
  6. Expect swelling, some bleeding and some pain post-operatively.
  7. Take over the counter painkillers as directed by your dentist.
  8. Take prescribed antibiotics or use antiseptic mouthwash as prescribed.
  9. Call the practice if you have any concerns.
  10. Come back to see us for a review 10-14 days post surgery for us to remove any remaining sutures.

At Pearl dental clinic, for those patients that suffer from dental anxiety, we offer Conscious IV Sedation to help you feel more relaxed during your crown lengthening treatment. Crown lengthening treatment is usually carried out by our Periodontist (Gum Specialist).

We will always provide you with a full written treatment plan so that you are fully aware of the costs involved before we begin any treatment. We have published our fees on our web site, so that there are no hidden costs.

We provide 0% Finance on most treatments allowing you to spread the cost of treatment over a period that suits you. Finance can be arranged within a few hours by sending the completed application form to Dental Finance.


Pearl Dental Clinic is open 7 days a week from 9am to 10pm. You can book an appointment by calling us on 0203 750 5300 or emailing us or booking an appointment online


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