Did your dentist recommend getting a gum graft? In this blog, our Timmins dentists discuss ways you can prepare for your gum graft procedure and what you can expect.
What Can I Expect From a Gum Graft?
If you have gum disease, your gums may recede, leaving the roots of your teeth exposed. This can leave your tooth surfaces more vulnerable to sensitivity, abrasion, and decay.
Your dentist might suggest getting a gingival gum graft to help address the issue. Here, we share the benefits of gum grafts, how you can prepare, as well as its success rate, and other elements you should consider.
What Are Gingival Gum Grafts?
A gingival gum graft consists of removing tissue from a patient’s palate, and then grafting (transplanting) it to the area where the gums have receded. In some cases, this technique entails using tissue from a donor.
The Benefits of Gingival Gum Grafts
A gingival gum graft can:
- Protect your tooth from additional gum recession
- Restore the natural appearance of your smile (depending on the case)
- Stabilize and strengthen the gum covering a tooth
- Decrease sensitivity in teeth where the gum has worn away by covering the exposed root with new gum tissue
Preparing For Your Gum Graft
- Gum grafts require two appointments: the first to perform the surgery and the second to remove sutures and see if the graft is healing properly.
- You don't have to modify your diet or fast before the procedure – just arrive at the appointed time.
- The oral surgeon will use local anesthesia to numb the area affected by the procedure.
- Generally, the procedure takes approximately an hour and a half.
- Your graft will be sutured, so you’ll have 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.
- You’ll want to arrange a ride to and from your appointment, you’ll be given medication for pain and discomfort, that can make it unsafe to drive.
The Gum Graft Procedure
Your oral surgeon will implement these steps to conduct your gum graft procedure:
Local anesthesia is injected at the graft harvesting site (where the tissue will be removed from the palate), and on the area receiving the transplant.
The graft tissue is harvested.
The tissue will be grafted onto the site where the gum is receding.
Gum Grafts have very high success rates. Usually, the likelihood of success increases considerably when patients brush and floss properly after their procedure.
Another Option: Pinhole Surgical Technique
An alternative option to a gum graft is the Pinhole Surgical Technique and it could offer immediate results. This less invasive procedure involves the surgeon poking a small hole in the gum above the tooth or teeth that require treatment.
A special instrument is then used to gently move the gums down to the correct position. A small angled instrument is then used to thread collagen strips or gum graft material through the entry point, where they are placed under the gums.