There are situations that require a procedure called crown or tooth elongation.
When decay or a fracture of tooth structure occurs below the gum-line it may be necessary to remove a small amount of bone and gum tissue. This will move the tissue away from the hidden problem area and effectively make the tooth or teeth longer. Now, your dentist can see the problem area and properly restore it. Your dentist may ask for this procedure before he or she makes a new crown for your tooth. Sometimes excess tissue is in the way and reshaping the gum and supporting tissues is necessary. Crown elongation will allow your restorative dentist adequate room to place a quality final restoration that will not collect plaque and will not promote gum disease.
Another indication for crown lengthening is when the front teeth are too short or of uneven length. For more information on short teeth see Gummy Smile
This patient had decay that destroyed the heads of her teeth. here was not enough tooth structure exposed to reliably rebuild the tooth. In order to rebuild these teeth, Crown lengthening surgery was needed.
The gum, and underlying bone was raised (upward) so that more of the roots of the teeth were exposed. A set of temporary crowns was fabricated to fit on the newly exposed tooth roots so that the patient had teeth with which to function. The edges of the temporary crowns were kept shy of the gums, so as not to interfere with their healing.
After healing was complete, the teeth were crowned. What was a devastated (dental) situation, was salvaged. The teeth were returned to their original function and health. Not too long ago, before these techniques were widely used, these teeth would have been extracted and replaced by a removable denture.