Crown Lengthening and Pocket Depth Reduction

Periodontists use a variety of means to help patients who suffer from chronic gum disease. However these dental specialists do other types of dental procedures as well. For those who need restorative or cosmetic dental work that is directly related to the gums there are things that can be done to ensure a healthy and attractive smile. Two of these procedures are known as crown lengthening and pocket depth reduction procedures. Let us take a closer look at each one of these.

Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is commonly undertaken when a patient has what is often referred to as a “gummy smile”. What this means is that too much gum is showing and not enough teeth when the patient smiles. The teeth may seem to look far too short in the mouth when in reality they are the appropriate lengths but instead there is an excess of gum tissue covering them. To improve upon this a periodontist will do something known as crown lengthening.

During a crown lengthening procedure, the excess amounts of gum and bone tissue are reshaped in an attempt to expose more of the teeth that are hiding beneath the gum line. In some cases the problem may involve only one tooth while in other cases it may be a number of different teeth in a row.

Crown lengthening is also sometimes done in order to restore a tooth such as when a tooth is broken or decayed that is below the gum line. This procedure might also be done if the tooth has very little structure to it and needs to have a crown or bridge placed over it. Crown lengthening makes it possible for a tooth to be restored by exposing it to the naked eye.

Pocket Depth Reduction

Bone and gum tissue is supposed to snugly fit around the teeth but for people, who have periodontal disease, pockets form around the base of the teeth that destroy this support system. These pockets get larger and larger over time and allow more and more bacteria to get in.

The more bacteria that get into the pockets, the deeper they become and the more bone and tissue loss take place. If too much bone is damaged over time, either the tooth or teeth will fall out on their own or they will need to be removed.

A periodontist will recommend pocket depth reduction when the pockets at the base of the teeth have reached a critical and dangerous stage. If deep cleaning at the dentists office no longer works then this procedure is undertaken.

The periodontist will carefully fold back the gum disease during the procedure and then take away the bacteria that is causing the disease. He will then carefully secure the gum tissue back into place. Some periodontists will smooth down areas of damaged bone, which helps support the gum tissue in reattaching itself to the bone and beginning the healing process.

Reducing the depth of these pockets help to limit the amount of bacteria that can accumulate and prevents further damage to the teeth, bones and gums from taking place.