Crown Lengthening Surgery

When you look in the mirror, does your gumline look uneven? Or do you see too little tooth? A type of gum surgery called crown lengthening can raise or even out the gumline. If more tooth structure needs to be exposed for the tooth to be restored, crown lengthening surgery can fix that, too.

Crown lengthening surgery may be performed for functional or cosmetic reasons.

Crown being placed on shaped tooth. Dotted line shows new gumline.
Functional crown lengthening: This corrects the gum and bone level by allowing the tooth to be exposed more, so the tooth can be restored.


Dotted line showing where gum tissue will be removed above tooth.
Cosmetic crown lengthening: Removing or reshaping gum and bone tissue can help improve your smile by exposing more of the natural tooth, or by evening out your gumline to create a less "gummy" smile.

How crown lengthening works

Surgery to expose more of the crown (the part of the tooth you can see) includes:

  • Functional lengthening. In some cases, decay or a fracture goes below the gum line and a restoration (crown) is needed. Gum and bone are removed to expose enough tooth to anchor the new crown. This also helps prevent future damage to gum and bone near the restoration.

  • Cosmetic lengthening. This is done to correct an uneven gum line or remove an overgrowth of gum and, in some cases, bone tissue that causes a “gummy” smile. It can improve your appearance and may make teeth easier to keep clean.

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