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Gummy smile? We achieve a beautiful balance between the teeth and gums with crown lengthening

The gums or gingival tissue that surrounds, protects, and holds teeth in place can dwarf the smile’s appearance as a whole. When you look in the mirror, all you may see staring back at you are gums! At Abel, Phan & Associates in Sterling, Virginia, we can regain your confidence by restoring a balanced smile. Crown lengthening surgery, performed skillfully by our dentists, Drs Anna Abel and Chuong Phan, is the answer to a “gummy” smile.

The anatomy of a gummy smile

Gums that look overly prominent compared to the teeth and the rest of the smile are due to excessive soft tissue or gingiva covering up the tooth structure or the white-colored crown visible above the gum line. Since less of the crown is exposed, the gums may look out of proportion compared to the teeth.

A gummy smile can result as the teeth break through the gums or erupt in the mouth. As patients enter their late teens or young adulthood, usually, the teeth no longer move through the gums and bone. Disruptions in this natural process can cause a discrepancy between the appearance and proportion of the teeth and the gums. In fact, as little as one-eighth of an inch of gummy tissue may result in an overly bulky gum line that is hard to miss. While a tooth may have developed normally and be the appropriate length, it may not look that way due to excessive gingival tissues. Not unlike beautiful faces as a whole, attractive smiles, in general, have symmetrical features. All parts of the smile exist in harmony with each other.

Crown lengthening to the rescue

True to its name, crown lengthening involves making the white visible tooth structure look more prominent. To do so, our dentists deftly shape excess soft tissue and surrounding bone. So, more of the tooth is exposed. The process is well tolerated and requires little more than a localized anesthetic for utmost comfort during the procedure. Tiny incisions are made to access, pull away, and manipulate the numbed gingival tissues. These techniques require considerable skill from experienced professionals like Drs Abel and Phan.

The specific techniques used and the length of time required to perform the surgery depend on several factors, including the number of teeth that must be treated and the amount of gum or bone tissue removed. After our dentists are satisfied with the crown reshaping and recontouring, the site is cleaned, incisions are closed. Results are immediately noticeable and often support a dramatic improvement in the appearance of your smile. The site is further covered with a surgical material to protect and stabilize the tissues, prevent complications such as infection, and encourage healing. The treated area may be completely healed in around two months. It is essential to follow instructions as directed by your dentist, as some post-surgical care is required.

To find out more about the benefits, aesthetic and functional- and health-oriented, of crown lengthening, call us at (571) 450-9848 to schedule a consultation at our Sterling/Potomac Falls office.