Gum grafting is a surgical procedure that uses small samples of healthy tissue harvested from the patient’s mouth or obtained from a tissue bank to supplement existing gum tissue. Grafting is most commonly used when gums have receded as a result of moderate to severe gum disease, but it can also be used to replace or supplement gum tissue in other periodontal treatments and as a cosmetic treatment to correct the appearance of a toothy smile. When used to replace gum tissue that has receded, gum grafting can help protect tooth roots that may have become exposed due to advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, reducing the risk of tooth loss.
First, the patient’s mouth will be evaluated to identify potential sites where healthy gum tissue can be harvested. The most common donor sites are the roof of the mouth, which is also called the palate, or the gums surrounding the teeth adjacent to the treatment site. Once the donor sites have been identified, the tissue will be carefully removed using a local anesthetic to eliminate discomfort. When no healthy donor sites are available, processed tissue will be obtained from a tissue bank. The donor tissue will be sutured into the treatment area to ensure a snug fit against the tooth surface. Antibiotics may also be applied to reduce the risk of infection. Oral antibiotics may also be prescribed.
Following gum grafting, the treatment area may be sore, and over-the-counter pain medications can be used to reduce discomfort. If the procedure is performed under sedation, driving will be restricted for the remainder of the day. There may also be some dietary restrictions for a week or so to prevent irritation and speed healing.
Gum grafting helps prevent gum disease by restoring gum tissue, so the lower portions of the tooth and the root pocket are protected from invading bacteria that cause gum disease and eventual tooth loss.
This is a short-list of just some of the plans we accept. We accept most Dental PPO. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.