It is no secret that dentists are committed to saving teeth. This is why we fill a cavity, instead of pulling the tooth.
Crown lengthening due to decay: Cavities can decay to tooth to the point where restoration is virtually impossible without a procedure called crown lengthening. Crown lengthening is a routine surgical procedure, which remodels the contour of the gum line. The procedure does not actually lengthen the crown, but rather lowers the gum line. When there is not enough tooth structure to affix a crown, this is the only option. Sometimes a tooth has been broken below the gum line. In this instance, crown lengthening is very successful in exposing more of the tooth, so that the dentist has something to work with.
Crown lengthening due to esthetics: Some people may have a natural over-growth of gingiva "gums" that can be esthetically un pleaseing. the same routine procedure can be completed to expose more of teh natural tooth structure by lowering the gum line causing a more cemetric smile.