Sometimes functional crown lengthening will be needed in order to perform a cosmetic or restorative procedure. This may be the case if a tooth is too far decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient structure for restoration like a crown or bridge. In cases like this, the dentist may be required to lower the gum and bone levels to expose more of the root surface so it can be restored. However, simply trimming back the gum line is not sufficient. Instead, the dentist will need to reshape the gums and supporting bone to allow for adequate room to place a high quality restoration.
The procedure is similar to aesthetic crown lengthening in that a local anesthetic will be administered. Small incisions are required to remove the gum tissue and reshape the area. When the procedure has been completed, the dentist will place sutures that will need to be removed in one to two weeks. After the area has completely healed (6-8 weeks), the final restorative dentistry such as a crown or bridge can be placed.
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