Surgical crown lenghtening

Article Author

Author: Mario Gržančić , DMD


The condition in which the teeth of the upper jaw are excessively visible when smiling is called “gummy smile”. The reasons for this condition can be numerous – from excessive growth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of soft tissue more than usual to hyperactive upper lip. Therefore, the therapy of such a condition is different. It is important to emphasize that this is exclusively an aesthetic problem, not a health problem.

The surgical procedure that corrects this condition is called lengthening the clinical crown of the tooth. Therapy is planned by detailed analysis of the position of the lower edge of the upper lip at rest and function, as well as X-ray analysis and clinical examination. It may involve only the removal of excess gums, so it is called gingivectomy, or, if necessary, remove excess bone together with the gums, so it is called gingivectomy with osteotomy and osteoplasty. Gum is removed with a scalpel, thermocautery or today with a laser, and bone is removed and smoothed with steel and diamond drills.

The gums are fixed in a new position with resorbable sutures. After this procedure, the teeth can be provided with prosthetic implants such as crowns, but sometimes this is not necessary. If the patient does not have enough width of the attached gums, the procedure includes moving and fixing it in a new position.

Prolongation of the clinical crown of the tooth is a small aesthetic procedure that can make a big difference and make a smile much more harmonious and beautiful. Teeth visually enlarge and make gums less visible.