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Does crown lengthening require surgery?

Crown lengthening is a type of dental surgery. It is indicated when there is not enough tooth exposed in the mouth to do dental work usually a crown. Your tooth and gum area will be numbed and gum tissue and bone tissue will be trimmed to expose enough of the tooth so that a crown can be done after the area heals. This procedure allows the dentist to save a tooth that otherwise would have had to be extracted. 
Crown lengthening is surgery, but it is minor periodontal surgery. The goal is to expose more solid tooth for the crown to grip. This is important for retention, stability of the crown and resistance to fracture of the crown from the root.

The principle here is to be able to establish a ferrule around the root surface. The definition of ferrule is:
  1. a ring or cap usually of metal put around a slender shaft (as a cane or a tool handle) to strengthen it or prevent splitting
  2. a usually metal sleeve used especially for joining or binding one part to another (as pipe sections or the bristles and handle of a brush)
In this case crown lengthening exposes adequate tooth/root structure for the crown material to grip.
 
Gregory J. Jorgensen, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Crown lengthening requires removing extra gum tissue that lies over the tooth. In some cases the periodontist will also need to remove some bone. Both of these procedures require anesthesia and are considered surgery.
Crown lengthening involves minor surgery. By correcting your gum level, more of the surface of your teeth will be exposed. This can dramatically improve your smile and can create more healthy-looking gums.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.