Crown lengthening is a procedure that reshapes gum and bone tissues to make the crowns of your teeth appear taller. This periodontal surgery is used for:

  • A “gummy smile.” Excess gum tissue that makes the teeth appear short.
  • Application of a dental restoration (like a crown). Crown lengthening is needed if the tooth has damage below the gum line or there is too much gum tissue for the restoration.
  • Improves gum health. Excess gum tissue increases your risk for periodontal disease. A crown lengthening procedure may even be used to treat this condition.

After injecting an anesthetic, your dentist will make incisions to the gum tissue. He will then remove some of it or repair the tooth, depending on what you need the crown lengthening procedure for. Your dentist will stitch your gums together and apply a bandage to the area.

You should experience very little pain after this surgery. Other common symptoms include some bleeding and increased sensitivity. Symptoms that are not common after this procedure include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop
  • Severe pain that pain medication cannot relieve
  • Excess swelling or discharge
  • The bandage becomes loose or falls off

If you develop any of these symptoms, then call your dentist immediately. However, most of the time you should experience no problems; especially if you follow the aftercare instructions your dentist gives you.