You are here

Gum Grafts

Hard and soft tissue augmentation is often used in dentistry in conjunction with other procedures to bring our patients the most comprehensive dental care. Though these oral surgeries might sound a bit extreme, doctor will recommend these types of procedures only if they are absolutely necessary to restore the proper function of your teeth and other maxillofacial regions. And, thanks to modern technology and advancements in dentistry, there is no better time to get soft and hard tissue grafts from your dentist.

Gum Grafts

A diagnosis of periodontal disease and other condition of the gums can make for a bane to any day. No one enjoys weathering bad news. However, gum disease happens more often than we realize and when it does, treating the problem promptly is key to preventing further damage and eliminating an even larger headache later.

Receding gums are a common dental problem in adults that affects roughly 4 percent to 12 percent. When gum recession happens, it shouldn’t remain untreated and unchecked. The problem will only worsen over time.

Receding gums do not occur overnight. It is a gradual process and as a result, is not often noticed right away. However, as the disease progresses, the tooth root can become exposed and this will affect the beauty of your smile, but the damage doesn’t stop there. Exposed tooth roots are vulnerable to decay-causing bacteria and can potentially cause pain and temperature sensitivity. Gum recession that is allowed to fester further can eventually lead to tooth loss. A gum tissue graft can repair the damage caused by receding gums before the problem becomes severe.

A gum graft is a minor surgical procedure used to correct the problem of receding gums. The procedure is a simple, outpatient treatment that can be performed in the dental office with the use of a sedative for your comfort. As a result, you will need to make arrangements with someone else to drive you home after the procedure.

There are four different types of gum grafts that can be performed depending on your situation and dentist can discuss, which graft would be right for you.

Connective Tissue Grafts

Of the different graft procedures available, connective tissue grafts are most commonly used to treat an exposed tooth root. A small fold of skin is cut from your palate and the tissue that will be used for the graft is removed from beneath this fold. After tissue removal, the fold is sewn back in place and the graft tissue is then sewn directly to the gum surrounding the exposed tooth root.

Free Gingival Grafts

If you are starting out with thin gums, then free gingival grafts may be a better option. This graft is similar to the connective tissue graft in that it also involves creating a fold of tissue from the palate. However, where the graft tissue in the connective tissue method is removed from beneath the fold, the free gingival graft requires the removal of the tissue directly from the palate.

Pedicle Grafts

For individuals with thicker gums, a pedicle graft may serve as a better option. For this graft, tissue is partially cut from the gums near the near the tooth being repair, but not fully removed. One side is left attached to the gums while the rest is pulled down and sewn in place over the exposed tooth root.

Tissue Bank Grafts

Sometimes, doctor or the patient prefers to use tissue bank grafts instead of from the patient’s own palate. In these cases, a special tissue-stimulating protein must be used to encourage the body’s ability to grow tissue for this graft to be successful. A tissue bank graft should be discussed in more detail with doctor to determine if this method will work best for you.

Soft Tissue Grafting Procedure

Doctor removes all infection and bacteria. Then, if the condition is severe enough, he might remove some of the infected tissue as well if it is beyond saving. Then he will use one of three grafting procedures (free gingival graft, connective tissue graft, or pedicle graft) to correct the areas and promote healthy healing and recovery. He can use these soft tissue grafts to treat root exposure, correct an uneven gum line and help stabilize teeth loosened because of trauma or gum disease.

Recovery Time

As with any surgery, there will be a period required for recovery and post-op instructions that should be followed, particularly with diet and oral hygiene care, but also may extend to include activity and the use of medications and pain relief aids. While the use of gum grafts are both an efficient and effective way of treating gum recession problems, there are no guarantees that your gum problems won’t return in the future. To ensure that your gums remain healthy, regular dental checkups and proper oral hygiene at home should be followed. It is easy to neglect to brush your teeth or cancel dental appointments on days when your schedule is busy. However, by doing so, your oral health suffers.

Bone Grafts

When your teeth fall out, it leads to bone resorption because the roots are no longer in place to stimulate the alveolar region. Your bone starts to shrink and before long, there is little left to support more advanced dental restorations like implants and dentures. Fortunately, if you have suffered from this kind of degeneration, dentist can perform hard tissue grafts to restore the area and create a suitable structure for your other procedures. Though it is a more advanced form of dentistry, these procedures are one of the most efficient ways to reverse the effects of tooth loss and restore the form, function and aesthetic of your smile. Here are the different types of bone grafts you might consider.

Autogenous Bone Grafts

Also known as autografts, doctor takes bone from somewhere else in your body, usually from the chin or back of the jaw and reattaches it to the area of resorption. Because it comes from your own living bone, the hard tissue graft is a perfect match and produces faster, more satisfactory results.

Allogenic Bone Grafts

These are non-living bone grafts that come from human sources. Because of their nature, these grafts do not grow themselves, but rather provide a framework for your natural bone to grow over and fill in the voids. The regeneration process does take longer with non-living bone but still works to provide support for restorations.

Xenogenic Bone Grafts

This is processed bone from different species, mostly cows, that only contain the mineral content of natural bone. it is completely sterilized and free of organic material and works much like allogenic bone to provide a framework for natural growth.

Demineralized Bone Matrix (DBM)

With advancements in medicine, we now have access to synthetic materials that can be used as an alternative in grafting procedures. Usually, this type of grafting material is allogenic bone processed with collagen so it acts more like autogenous bone.