The overall goal of crown lengthening is either to improve the prosthetic life of a tooth (functional crown lengthening) or to improve aesthetic for the patient (aesthetic crown lengthening).

This involves reducing the gum and bone tissue around one or several teeth to expose more of the natural tooth and improve the appearance or access to healthy tooth tissue. It can also be used on a decayed or broken down the tooth to enable a restoration or crown & bridge to be placed.

Some teeth may appear shorter than they actually are. This is caused by extra gum covering not only the root but also the crown part of the tooth. By removing some of the excess bone and gum, the teeth can assume a more appealing and natural length.