Crown lengthening (or crown exposure) is required when a tooth needs a crown or restoration and the edge of that restoration is deep below the gum tissue because of decay or tooth fracture.
If the restoration is too deep below the gum tissue, it is not accessible to your dentist so that a complete seal can be formed between the restoration and tooth. If a proper seal is not developed, the tooth could develop decay under the restoration. Also, if the restoration is too far below the gum line, it will trigger an additional inflammatory reaction and could lead to periodontal bone loss.
The procedure involves adjusting the level of the gum tissue and bone around the teeth in question to create a new gum-to–tooth relationship. This allows your Dentist to place an accurate restoration that properly fits the tooth and will not lead to decay or bone loss. When the procedure is completed, sutures, and a protective bandage 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. A new crown can be fabricated between 4 to 8 weeks after functional crown lengthening, depending on the tooth.