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What’s the Difference Between a Gingivectomy and Crown Lengthening

Posted on: February 24th, 2023 | Categories: Gum Disease, Periodontics

If you’re looking for a periodontist near Lexington to do a gingivectomy or a crown lengthening procedure you may have wondered what the difference is between the two procedures. Both gingivectomy and crown lengthening seem very similar since they both involve the removal of some gum tissue, but there is a key difference. A gingivectomy is purely the removal of gum (also known as gingival) tissue whereas a crown lengthening is first and foremost about making the teeth larger in relation to the gums in a gummy smile. Even though crown lengthening involves a gingivectomy in order to reveal more of the tooth, it also involves the removal of some of the supporting bone (bone removal has its own name (ostectomy).

The key to the difference between the two is that a gingivectomy is used for multiple situations, whereas a crown lengthening is specifically used when the periodontist or dentist wants to reveal more of the tooth in the case of a gummy smile. Other instances a gingivectomy might be used is if there is an excess of gum tissue due to the gum tissue becoming enlarged and overgrown. Another instance a gingivectomy might be used for patients with gum disease (specifically periodontitis) in order to get the inflammation under control.

In the situations where just the gingivectomy takes place it’s because the gum tissue is the only thing that has an issue with it. In those cases it’s just the gums that have overgrown or the gums are inflamed and infected tissue needs to be removed. Whereas with a gummy smile requiring a crown lengthening, the teeth are not fully erupted. This means that both gums and bone are covering the part of the tooth that the needs to be visible. That’s why both the gum tissue and bone tissue are removed (gingivectomy and ostectomy) in order to reveal the underlying tooth.

Regardless if you get a gingivectomy or crown lengthening, a periodontist is the perfect dental specialist for the job since they specialize in the tissue that surrounds and supports the tooth (namely, the gums and jaw bone). Concord Lexington Periodontics has a periodontics practice in Lexington that offers both crown lengthening and gingivectomies so don’t hesitate to book a consultation.

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Comprehensive Periodontics and Oral Surgery

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