Those who feel that they have a "gummy" smile can greatly benefit from a cosmetic gum lift, also known as "esthetic crown lengthening". This relatively simple procedure usually takes less than an hour to perform and is essentially a "gum lift". During the procedure the doctor removes excess gum to expose more of the natural teeth and reshapes the smile to enhance it. While the procedure can be performed on just one tooth, it is most often done to the entire smile. The end result creates a wider, more beautiful, and more brilliant smile.
Esthetic crown lengthening can also be done to preserve the health of the smile. Removing excess gum tissue can help control and prevent periodontal disease by setting you up for successful cleaning of your teeth. Increasing the exposed surface area of the tooth actually decreases the excess depth under the gums ("gum pockets") where bacteria can grow and harm your teeth and gums.
Prior to the procedure a local anesthetic will be administered to prevent discomfort. Small incisions in the gum tissue will used to remove the excess and contour your smile. In some cases, a small amount of bone will also need to be removed to create the natural smile. Once this gentle procedure is completed, sutures may be placed to encourage the teeth and newly contoured gums to re-attach to each other as designed. A follow up appointment will be needed one to two weeks after the procedure to evaluate healing.