One of the most common specialty procedures that Dr. Saunders offers in our Conroe practice is therapeutic crown lengthening.
To understand what crown lengthening is, it’s necessary to be familiar with the basic anatomy of your teeth. The two main parts are the “crown” portion above the gums, and the “root” below them. Crowns taper off around the neck or middle of the tooth, where enamel stops just along the gumlines.
Anatomical crowns are different than functional crowns. Your anatomical crown is the tooth portion that’s white and covered by enamel. On the other hand, a clinical crown is the portion of the tooth that’s exposed above the gumlines. If your gums recede or are reduced on purpose, it increases the size of clinical crown that’s exposed.
Cosmetic Gum Recontouring
Sometimes you can have too much gum tissue. This characteristic may be due to genetics, orthodontic concerns, or even specific types of medication that you’ve taken in the past. A “gummy” smile may detract from your smile’s appearance and pose a cosmetic concern.
To increase the amount of anatomical crown that’s visible, our periodontist in The Woodlands can reduce the edge of your gumlines, exposing more enamel. This cosmetic procedure is fairly straightforward. Thanks to laser technology it’s also efficient and easy to recover from.
Crown Lengthening for Your Restorative Needs
Let’s say your tooth is significantly damaged. Maybe you’ve had a large cavity or fracture that extends deep into the tooth. Ideally you would have a crown placed over it, but there’s not enough visible tooth structure to support a fixed restoration.
In these cases, Dr. Saunders can use a laser to reduce the gum tissues and expose a larger clinical (not anatomical) crown, giving your restorative dentist a larger base to work with. The crown will extend over the portion of root that’s visible, adding to its durability and function.
Restorative crown lengthening can help you avoid unnecessary tooth extraction.
Therapeutic Crown Lengthening During Periodontal Care
If you’ve suffered from extensive gum disease, you probably have a good understanding of tissue attachment levels and bone support. In areas where there are deep pockets involved (which are nearly impossible to clean on your own) Dr. Saunders may recommend having therapeutic crown lengthening, also known as pocket reduction surgery.
Pocket reduction — as the name suggests — reduces the depth of your periodontal pockets by removing excessive detached gingiva around each tooth. Although more tooth surface is exposed (as with restorative crown lengthening) you can enjoy a healthier oral environment by being able to physically clean shallower gum pockets as you brush and floss each day.
You may want to consider pocket reduction if you continually exhibit signs of periodontitis around specific teeth, regardless of ongoing periodontal therapies.
Choosing a Gum Expert You Can Trust
Dr. Kip Saunders is your trusted periodontal expert in The Woodlands. We’ve been serving the greater Conroe community since 1984, working closely with North Houston dentists to provide specialized care to their patients.
Request a no-pressure consultation at our practice in The Woodlands today!