You are here:

Oral Surgery/trim gum to epose more tooth to hold crown


For 40 years I had a front crown over a broken off tooth. Worked good, but my teeth were never attractive.  When it came loose last time, a bit of the narrow length broke off too.  So now there is too little tooth structure to hold a new crown.  To avoid cost of a bridge and extracting adjacent teeth, DDS says may be possible to trim the gum to expose more tooth to anchor a crown.  (I do not show my top gums when I smile, so possible option).  Is this something only an oral surgeon should do, or general DDS?  Is this a bad idea, what can go wrong. Sounds scary to gut back gums.
An implant seems too costly, since would not look good as be next to crooked and chipped teeth.
Other option was a 6 tooth all porcelain bridge. But at age 62, I could never afford to replace it if it broke or gums reseded leaving a cap.  Since I clench my teeth it may not last past 5-7 years that is average. So that is why asking about an option to replace the one tooth with cutting back gum.
Thank you for reading all this.

Bob - If there are financial restrictions preventing extracting the tooth and making either a bridge or placing a dnetal implant, what your dentist proposes is the only option.  What he proposes is not a very good option, but it should be less expensive.  The problem is that with the gum cutting there is a chance of developing gum infections afterwards.

Long term results will be either a bridge or implant.  

Oral Surgery

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

©2016 All rights reserved.