This procedure is typically needed for one of two reasons; either cosmetic or restorative. Crown lengthening can cosmetically improve the smile line by eliminating the “gummy” smile look. The restorative reason is to provide more tooth to be visible in the mouth so the tooth can be properly restored. When a tooth breaks off near the gum line or when decay occurs on the root surface crown lengthening is needed to properly restore the tooth. Crowns and/or bridges cannot be cemented with the edge of the crown near the bone, which is why crown lengthening is needed.

When performing a crown lengthening procedure, the gum and bone around the area needing treatment is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. For cosmetic procedures, one tooth can be treated to provide an even appearance at the gum line, or what we call the whole smile line can be treated to create a natural smile line.

If the procedure is needed to restore a tooth that is decayed or fractured near the bone, then the area around the defect is treated. The only other option would be extraction of the involved tooth.

Please see the Periodontal Gallery for the types of treatment that can be accomplished.

Crown Lengthening

We are a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Our office uses composite fillings. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.

Disadvantages of Silver Fillings

Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split. Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak and cause stains on your teeth and gums. Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with Composite (Tooth-Colored) Restorations.

Advantages of Composite (Tooth-Colored) Restorations

There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger.

Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!

What Steps Are Involved in Filling a Tooth?

To treat a cavity we will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material once lived. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding ).

First, we will numb the area around the tooth to be worked on with a local anesthetic. Next, a drill, air abrasion instrument will be used to remove the decayed area. Next, we will probe or test the area during the decay removal process to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once the decay has been removed, we will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. If the decay is near the root, we may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve. Generally, after the filling is in, we will finish and polish the tooth.

Fillings / Restorations

We are a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Our office uses composite fillings. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.

Disadvantages of Silver Fillings

Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split. Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak and cause stains on your teeth and gums. Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with Composite (Tooth-Colored) Restorations.

Advantages of Composite (Tooth-Colored) Restorations

There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger.

Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!

What Steps Are Involved in Filling a Tooth?

To treat a cavity we will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material once lived. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding ).

First, we will numb the area around the tooth to be worked on with a local anesthetic. Next, a drill, air abrasion instrument will be used to remove the decayed area. Next, we will probe or test the area during the decay removal process to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once the decay has been removed, we will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. If the decay is near the root, we may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve. Generally, after the filling is in, we will finish and polish the tooth.