When a tooth is badly decayed or fractures below the gumline, surgical exposure of healthy tooth structure may be required. Typically your restorative dentist will advise you if this is necessary. A small amount of gum tissue and/or bone is removed from the decayed or fractured tooth so that your dentist may place a restoration on healthy tooth structure. This technique may also be utilized for cosmetic procedures. A "gummy smile" can be eliminated by sculpting gingival tissues to a more aesthetic profile. Discrepancies in tooth length can also be corrected either by crown lengthening alone or in conjunction with restorative dentistry .