Have you been recommended gum grafts by your dentist? Here are some tips on how to prepare for this procedure and what you can expect from it.
What to expect from gum grafts?
If you're suffering from gum disease, your gums may recede expose your tooth roots. This can leave your teeth vulnerable to abrasion, sensitivity and decay
A dentist may recommend a gingival gum graft to treat this condition. Here, we will walk through this procedure's benefits, how to prepare for it, its success rates and other considerations.
What is a gum graft?
Gingival gum grafts involve removing tissue from your palate and transplanting it to areas where your gums have receded. In some cases, this may require tissue from a living donor.
Benefits of a Gingival Gum Graft
A gingival gum graft can:
- Protect your teeth from gum recession
- Decrease the sensitivity of your teeth where the gum has worn away
- Stabilize and strengthen the gum covering a tooth
- Restore the natural appearance of your smile
How to Prepare
- Gum grafts require two appointments: the first for the surgery and the second to remove sutures and check in on the healing process.
- You don't need to modify your diet before the procedure. Just show up on time!
- Make sure to arrange a ride to and from the appointment. Medications you'll take may make it unsafe to drive.
- The area affected by the procedure will have local anesthesia administered to it.
- The procedure typically takes about an hour and a half.
- Your graft will be sutured, so you’ll need to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- You’ll be given care instructions – follow them to ensure your graft heals as it’s supposed to.
Your oral surgeon will take the following steps to perform the gum graft procedure:
Inject local anesthesia at the harvesting site and on the area that will receive the transplant.
Harvest the graft tissue.
Graft the tissue onto the site where the gum is receding.
The success rate for this procedure is usually high. The likelihood of its success increases considerably when patients floss and brush correctly following the procedure.
Another Option: Pinhole Surgical Technique
The Pinhole Surgical Technique is an alternative to gum grafts providing immediate results. This less invasive procedure involves poking small holes in the gums above teeth that require treatment.
A special tool is used to gently move gums down to their correct position. Then, collagen strips are threaded through the entry point and placed beneath the gums.
Do you have receding gums and are wondering if a gum graft would help?
A dentist will be able to examine your smile and provide more information about your treatment options.