Treatment for a cosmetic situation maybe as simple as just changing the shape of the teeth right in the mouth, so that would be teeth contouring. Crown lengthening generally refers to the amount of gum that shows around the tooth. We do that for two particular reasons: one would be that the tooth that we want to work with isn't long enough to hold a restoration so we need more tooth. We will shorten the gums and make the tooth longer. Typically, the reason is to change the relationship between the size of the tooth and the amount of gum that shows. It may be that some teeth don't have the same amount of gum-tooth relationship. If we look across the smile, some teeth actually look a little shorter, but it's just that it's not the teeth that are shorter, it's the gums are covering more of the tooth. We change the height of the gum to make everything match. That's kind of the cosmetic part—the big picture, I guess.
When your teeth are not shaped the way they should be, your smile suffers. When your gumline is front and center and makes your teeth look too small, your smile suffers as well. Teeth contouring and crown lengthening from Mark W. Wilhelm, DMD, MSD can help correct both of these conditions and give you the smile you have always imagined.
What Is Teeth Contouring?
This procedure, also called teeth reshaping, can adjust the shape of your teeth to correct a misshapen tooth, to smooth edges, or to adjust the shape to better fit your smile. This process will start with an initial consultation to determine if this treatment is right for you. Dr. Wilhelm will first take a digital X-ray to see how much enamel you have and where your inner tooth material, which houses the tooth nerve, is located. This will allow Dr. Wilhelm to know how much enamel he can remove without affecting the nerve.
Once he has the full picture of your tooth, Dr. Wilhelm will begin removing a small layer of enamel from that tooth so that it will fit in with the rest of your smile. Depending on how involved the contouring process is, you may be able to have your new smile in a single appointment.
What Is Crown Lengthening?
Some people have a gumline that covers too much of the crowns of their teeth. The crown is the white part that sticks up (or down) from your gumline. Once your tooth comes in, there is no way to make it show more than it already does. What crown lengthening does is expose more of the white part of your tooth. Dr. Wilhelm will adjust that level of gums and even out your smile.
Benefits of Teeth Contouring and Crown Lengthening
Appearance – The most noticeable effect of these procedures is the cosmetic benefit they have on your smile and appearance in general. A misshapen tooth will stick out in your smile and distract from your overall appearance. A gumline that is dominating your grin will leave you with an unbalanced smile. Humans love symmetry in a smile, and these two procedures can restore the symmetry to yours.
Makes Restoration Possible – Crown lengthening is not done only for cosmetic reasons. In order to make room for a crown or even a veneer, you may need to have more of your natural tooth exposed. Crown lengthening will make it possible for Dr. Wilhelm to complete the restorative procedures that may save the life of both your smile and your tooth.