The visible portion of the tooth, the part that extends beyond the gums, is called the clinical crown. In some cases, excess gum tissue covers up some of the clinical crown. While this is not always problematic, it can cause aesthetic and oral health-related issues in some cases. To address this problem, a procedure known as crown lengthening can be performed.
Fortunately, at our Bismarck, ND practice, Dr. Everett E. Heringer uses laser dentistry for a number of treatments, including laser crown lengthening. This innovative technology allows us to perform procedures in a more precise and minimally invasive way.
Today, we will explore laser crown lengthening and discuss the candidacy, benefits, and other details regarding this treatment.
What Is Laser Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening involves removing excess gum tissue to reveal more of the tooth structure underneath. Traditional surgery is performed using a scalpel. In contrast, laser crown lengthening utilizes light energy to achieve the same objective.
This innovative method offers several benefits, which we will explore in more detail later. First, we will take a look at the two types of crown lengthening: cosmetic and functional.
Cosmetic Crown Lengthening
When you smile, the gums should delicately frame the teeth. Patients with excess gingival tissue are said to have a gummy smile. This condition can be generalized, or it may only affect certain teeth. In many aesthetic cases, cosmetic crown lengthening is performed to reshape the gum line for a more symmetrical and uniform appearance.
Functional Crown Lengthening
Sometimes, excess gum tissue can be detrimental to your oral health. For example, food, debris, or plaque may accumulate in the area between the tooth and gum tissue.
Eventually, this can result in other dental problems, such as inflammation, decay, or gum disease. To combat this issue, the excess gum tissue can simply be removed. This will eliminate the problematic tissue and make the area easier to clean.
Candidacy for Crown Lengthening
Essentially, anyone interested in reshaping the gum line can be considered for laser crown lengthening. However, it is important to understand that unique tooth anatomy plays a crucial role in determining eligibility, especially for those pursuing this treatment for cosmetic reasons.
For example, the cementoenamel junction, often referred to as the CEJ, is where the enamel on the tooth crown meets the cementum on the tooth root. Depending on where your CEJ is located, crown lengthening may not be feasible unless your dentist combines this procedure with the placement of porcelain veneers.
During an initial consultation with Dr. Heringer, we can help you determine if laser crown lengthening is an option for you.
Benefits of Laser Crown Lengthening
Compared to traditional gum surgery, laser crown lengthening offers a number of advantages. Patients who undergo this treatment can enjoy:
- Less discomfort: During laser crown lengthening, there is less bleeding because our diode laser cauterizes as it incises. This means less swelling and discomfort post-operatively.
- Faster treatment: Because laser dentistry is so precise, it is less time-consuming compared to traditional approaches. Therefore, patients spend less time in the dental chair.
- Shorter recovery time: With less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort, most patients are able to return to normal activity within a day or two.
- Reduced noise: One of the most off-putting things about traditional surgery is the unsettling sounds from dental drills and other instruments. Dental lasers eliminate this noise for a more comfortable and relaxing treatment experience.
Learn More about Laser Dentistry at Our Practice
If you think you may require crown lengthening, schedule a consultation to see if laser dentistry may be an option for you. You can contact us online or give us a call at (701) 255-4850.