Esthetic Crown Lengthening

What is ECL

Esthetic Crown Lengthening is a surgical procedure in which gum tissue is re-contoured to expose more of the tooth. 

In some situations it is just laser removal of excess tissue and other times it is the necessity to enhance the tooth anatomy/appearance by some change in the bone level.

Both ways are both profound outcomes which enhance the  aesthetics of your smile.

Laser Gum Contouring

A fast fix for “gummy” or crooked smiles.

A great smile isn’t only just about great teeth. Some people have too much gum tissue (a “gummy” smile), or their gums may be uneven (a “crooked” smile). Either way, gum surgery can make a big difference.lgsimage

“Gummy” smiles are caused by an overgrowth of gum tissue, which dominates the mouth, making the teeth seem almost secondary in appearance. This can be due to our genetics or caused by certain health problems or medications. It can also occur while a patient is receiving orthodontic treatment.

“Crooked” smiles can be caused by uneven gums as well as crooked teeth. Gum surgery, together with other dental procedures, can turn a crooked smile into a beautiful one.

Gum plastic surgery uses a diode laser, which vaporizes unnecessary or unsightly gum tissue with pinpoint accuracy. Most procedures take just a few minutes, and patients can usually return to work and normal activities the same day.


There are times in which unnecessary and or unwanted tissue is connecting the muscle of the lips along with the tongue (tongue tied). In these cases, the same laser can be used to remove the undesired tissue to improve esthetics and function.

ecl before/after gallery


case #1

Results: The patient was utterly shocked and ecstatic with how this transformed the way they presented herself when speaking and smiling. 

Details: This patient came to me for a second opinion after already starting orthodontics and dental care with another team. The orthodontist wanted more guidance on how to help this patient get their desired results due to the complexity of care needed. After meeting the patient, myself, and the orthodontist we established a plan to help the patient achieve their goals. Working together closely, we made the process as easy as possible for the patient. 

Once the teeth were in position, I could add bonded composite, I then bonded to the upper teeth to guide the orthodontist to the final position for my restorative work. Additionally, we knew the patient was not happy with how much tissue they showed when they smiled, so we sent them to the periodontist for “esthetic crown lengthening” for all the upper arches, reducing their gummy smile.

This process is significantly one of the coolest things I see in dentistry as it is life changing in every way. This case was selected by the American Academy of Periodontics for Comprehensive Dental Care and Teamwork. We presented how a team can masterfully work together to successfully accomplish the patients desires along with achieving each clinician’s goal too. 


case #2

Results: The patient was overjoyed to have their gummy smile corrected and more symmetrical. Thrilled with this life-changing makeover, and the fact that we were able to retain their natural teeth avoiding veneers, they can now smile with confidence.

Details: The patient originally came to me to do veneers though with guidance and discussing options, we approached the case differently and I feel with an even better result.

The patient had crowding, worn/chipped teeth, and deep bite corrected by Invisalign. After alignment with Invisalgn we raised their tissue level via “Aesthetic Crown Lengthening” removing the “gummy smile” that they did not like and to top off the case I did bonding of composite on teeth the patient desired for the final overall appearance. 


case #3

Results: The patient was truly blown away with how their smile was transformed and they were extremely appreciative for all the great care and guidance we provided regarding their smile. 

Details: The patient had six (6) current totally stable veneers, yet they were very much displeased with their smile and didn’t really know what it truly was but wanted it to be changed.

As we went through what they didn’t care for, other dislikes came up. The overall appearance of the veneer shape bothered her. Digging deeper, I brought up how when they smiled, they presented a very “gummy smile”. It was like a light bulb turned on and that was a critical turning point in our approach for their care. We had their tissue all raised “esthetic crown lengthening” on all upper teeth that they showed when smiling. This would require all new veneers yet would allow me to create proper proportions of the teeth capturing truly a new and brilliant smile. 


case #4

Results: They loved their new smile not showing the gummy appearance and appreciated the more proportionate full contour of their new veneers. 

Details: This patient did not like to smile because their gums showed too much and the teeth looked more square. We came up with a plan to perform “esthetic crown lengthening” on the front two center teeth with two (2) veneers on them with bonded composite on the adjacent teeth where they had worn them down. 


case #5

Results: In the end, the patient was fully appreciative of the work performed, and they now has a smile they love.

Details: This was a great case to work through as the patient was not happy with their gummy smile and was not interested in doing any orthodontics. Based on that, we discussed other options for how to create a bigger smile and to present less gums when in full smile.

We did ten (10) porcelain veneers to expand and enhance the dimension of the smile along with raising the tissue (with “esthetic crown lengthening” ) to decrease the volume of gums seen while smiling.


case #6

Results: The patient loves their new smile and very much appreciates the guidance and dental care we provide. 

Details: For this case we met to consider all options as they had severe wear on several teeth including malalignment and crowding. 

The patient did not like how their teeth were not in their proper positions, a gummy smile, worn-looking teeth at angles that were not desirable. 

We decided to do Invisalign to straighten the teeth, raise the tissue to decrease gumminess, do four front porcelain veneers and bonded composite on the canines and a couple of lower teeth to conservatively restore them and improve their function. 


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