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Prosthodontics/Back molar too short for crown to grip


My lower L. 2nd molar at the back (#37) was badly damaged, had root canal treatment and filling and was then fitted with a crown in 2009. In 2012 this crown started to come off very often. My dentist said that my molar (height ~1 mm above gum line) was very short. Each time this crown came off it was recemented, but the last time on 24/12/2014 it was swallowed while eating. There is no LL tooth #38, and LL 1st molar (#36) had root canal treatment and was fitted with a crown in 2007 and has had no problem. The LL second bicuspid is perfect and does not even have a filling.

Doctor, what are my options ? ( I wish my back molar could grow 1 mm upward so that the crown won't come off but that's impossible !)

Hi Dorothy,
There is a procedure called "crown lengthening" in which the dentist or periodontist would remove about 1-2mm of gum around the tooth to gain more height on the tooth and that way a new crown could be more retentive.
You can ask your dentist if that procedure could be done on that tooth.

Hope this answers your question.

Dr. Elsafi


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Mohamed Elsafi, DDS, MS, FACP


I am a board-certified Maxillofacial Prosthodontist. I do head and neck prosthetic reconstruction for patients with congenital and acquired defects. This also includes trauma and cancer patients. I can answer questions about prosthetic rehabilitation of the head and neck area. I am also a board-certified prosthodontist and can answer questions about dental reconstruction including crowns, bridges, veneers, partial and complete dentures and implant restorations. I can also answer questions about TMJ problems. I can not answer about surgical reconstruction.


I am a board-certified prosthodontist and maxillofacial prosthodontist and have been practicing denitstry for over 15 years.

American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics. American College of Prosthodontists. American Dental Association.

I received my dental degree from University of Southern California. I did my prosthodontics residency at University of Florida and my maxillofacial prosthetics fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Awards and Honors
Chief Fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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