Dental Tips Blog


Crown Lengthening

People see a periodontist for a number of reasons, one of them being to improve a “gummy smile.” People with too much gum tissue appear to have very short teeth. Their gum tissue has creeped down over the face of the teeth and can often times be unattractive. A periodontist can correct a gummy smile by performing a dental crown lengthening procedure.

People who want to improve the look of their smile by showing more of their teeth will see a periodontist who will perform a dental crown lengthening procedure. During the procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is scraped away and reshaped to expose more of the natural teeth. For some people, they may have just one tooth that needs to be more exposed. This is typically due to injury of a tooth and how it has not properly healed. For other people, they will have many, if not all, of their teeth exposed through crown lengthening.

Crown lengthening is also done for more reasons than simply aesthetic ones. If a tooth continually comes loose from a crown or bridge, crown lengthening can be done to make a crown or bridge the permanent solution it was designed to be. Crown lengthening can also be performed when decay has seeped beneath the gum line.

If you would like more information regarding crown lengthening, talk with your dentist or specified periodontist. An exam of your mouth can determine if you are a candidate for crown lengthening and can help you prepare for the procedure.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics



Lengthening Dental Crowns to Promote Healthier Teeth

Posted in Periodontics

Occasionally, there can be too little crown structure to work with when a tooth needs to be restored. The crown is the portion of the tooth that extends above the gumlines. If the crown is too short or worn down, then it cannot support a full coverage restoration such as a porcelain crown. Suppose the tooth is otherwise healthy, and then it may be possible to perform a procedure called “crown lengthening” so that the tooth can be restored after all.

Crown lengthening involves recontouring of the gum tissue so that a larger portion of tooth is visible above the gumlines. That allows permanent restorations like crowns and bridges to be securely cemented to the tooth, and restores function.

Another benefit of crown lengthening is when patients have severe bone loss due to previous gum disease. By shortening the gum pocket area around the tooth and lengthening the crown, teeth are easier to keep clean and gum tissue is easier to keep healthy. Otherwise, deep gum pockets can harbor plaque bacteria that cause infection and additional bone loss.

Most of the time, an oral surgeon or a periodontal specialist performs crown lengthening. Because it is considered a surgical procedure, there will be a small amount of recovery time needed after the treatment is completed. Thankfully, it is tremendously beneficial for helping people maintain their oral health for much longer.

If you’ve had a tooth that is broken down too far for a dentist to treat, or have areas of gum disease that are jeopardizing the tooth or teeth adjacent to it, then it’s time to ask if crown lengthening is a feasible treatment for the needs of your smile.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics




Comprehensive Periodontal Care

Posted in Periodontics

Most people think about dental care as fillings, crowns, or restorative dental work, but when it comes down to it, dentists and their teams are just as concerned about your gum health as they are fixing your broken or decayed teeth. Why is that? Because periodontal (gum) disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss, and can affect your lifestyle and appearance. Providing patients with a comprehensive approach to periodontal therapy can help them keep their teeth for many more years.

Preventive case is the best way to help avoid advanced gum disease, or maintain mild gingivitis. Routine cleanings twice each year can remove tartar and disease bacteria out from under the gums, helping you keep healthy bone levels and gum attachment to your teeth.

Deep cleanings may be needed if you are experiencing tissue detachment, bone loss, or severe amounts of tartar and bleeding. Most patients prefer to be numbed during this procedure to keep them as comfortable as possible. Removing tartar from deep pockets under the gums can help regain control over the disease and promote a healthy mouth.

For more active infections, some adjunctive or surgical procedures may be an effective part of their comprehensive periodontal treatment plan. Crown lengthening, gingival recontouring, prescription medications or even mouth trays can help patients conquer areas of infection that are more chronic than others. Without those extra steps that are tailored to individual patients, some areas may continue to stay infected and lose more bone support.

Periodic maintenance and exams will help keep diseased areas clean, and identify areas that need more care. Seeing your dentist and hygienist 2, 3, or even 4 times a year is a successful way to help your smile last for years.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics



Benefits of Crown Lengthening

Posted in Gum Disease

Crown lengthening involves removing diseased or excess gum tissue from around a tooth, in order to restore the tooth or improve its health. Here are some examples of when crown lengthening can be beneficial to your dental health:

As part of gum disease treatment.

Very deep gum pockets are difficult to keep clean, and harbor bacteria that continue to destroy attachment tissue as well as bone structure. By removing some of the diseased tissue, your dentist can change your deep gum pockets into ones that are shallower and easier to keep clean. This means reversal of disease conditions and maintaining oral health instead of seeing it worsen.

When placing a crown on the tooth.

If there is not much tooth structure available for your dentist to work with, crown lengthening can allow your dentist to save the tooth with a crown, instead of having to risk its extraction later on. Lengthening the crown gives your dentist access to areas of the tooth that were previously covered by gum tissue. Then an impression is made of the prepared area, and a permanent crown placed over the natural crown as well as the area of the lengthened crown. You’ll have more stability and success with this type of treatment than if your crown was placed on only a limited amount of tooth structure.

To improve the appearance of your smile.

Is your smile gummy, or do your teeth look too short? Gingival recontouring is an effective way to remove excess gum tissue and help natural teeth appear longer and fuller. By removing bulky gum tissue, the enamel that was once covered up can now be exposed, widening your smile naturally.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics


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