When you smile, do the teeth appear short and show more gum than you would like? Do your teeth appear square? If so, you may have what is often called a gummy smile. You can dramatically improve your smile in as little as an hour through a procedure called esthetic crown lengthening, also known as a “gum lift.” Crown lengthening involves reshaping excess gum and bone tissue to reveal more of your natural teeth. A single tooth or several teeth may need esthetic crown lengthening. The simple surgical procedure is performed in less than one hour, correcting the esthetic problem permanently. Your teeth are not fully seen but are of normal size and shape. The procedure uncovers your teeth, exposing your beautiful smile.
A common reason teeth appear too short is that they are simply buried under the gum. The bone and gum did not move away and exposed the teeth when they came into the mouth. The teeth are of normal shape and size but are covered under the gum. The teeth need to be uncovered to release their natural beauty.
The way teeth come into the mouth varies from one person to another. Most people do not have a problem, and their teeth appear of normal shape and size. Other people are not so fortunate; the teeth appear square and short, with a lot of gum seen when smiling. Sometimes esthetic crown lengthening can help create a beautiful smile.
An examination is performed to determine if only removing gum tissue is enough or if there is a need to remove a small amount of bone also. Usually, a small amount of bone needs to be removed so the excess gum tissue does not come back. If you are nervous, sedation is available. The area is made entirely numb, just like you were getting a filling. The tissue is gently moved back out of the way, and special instruments are used to remove any excess bone. The tissue is placed back around the teeth in a position that shows all of the teeth. Tiny white stitches are placed to hold the gum in its new position. The results are seen immediately. Pain medication is sometimes needed on the day of the procedure. The day after the procedure, Tylenol or ibuprofen is usually all that is required. The stitches are removed in about two weeks.