If your gums are receding, gum graft surgery may be an option that a periodontist recommends. When this happens, the root of the tooth is exposed since the gum no longer covers it. Gum graft surgery can stop any further recession. It also helps prevent decay and bone degeneration, which can lead to tooth loss. We offer gum grafting at our office near Dallas, Texas. Contact us today for a consultation.
Gum grafting offers many benefits including reduced sensitivity to hot and cold foods, improving the overall health of your mouth, and the improved appearance of your teeth and gums. Often times, patients have this procedure for cosmetic reasons.
So what causes gum recession? The most common cause of receding gum tissue is gum disease. However, it can also be caused by a number of factors including: brushing too roughly, hormones, smoking, and even lip piercings. The first step in preventing further gum recession is to gently brush twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist for cleanings every six months.
Gum grafting is performed to cover the exposed tooth roots with gum tissue. During this procedure, tissue is taken, usually from the roof of the mouth, and it is used to cover the exposed area. Depending on the severity and location of a patient’s gum recession, the treatment may be performed on one or more teeth.
Three different types of gum grafts are available and your doctor will advise you on which is the best for your case. The type used most often is called a connective tissue graft. This type of graft uses tissue from the palate. The other two types of gum grafts are pedicle and free gingival grafts. Pedicle grafts will only work if there is enough tissue present near the site of the exposed tooth.
One other option for gum grafting is using a tissue bank for gum tissue. This is not as common because the success rate is lower. Using a patient’s own tissue will almost always yield the best results. You and your doctor can decide which type of gum graft is the best fit for you.
Gum Grafting Cost
How much does gum grafting cost in Dallas, TX? The price varies and depends on a few factors. A consultation will be needed to give you an accurate price for gum grafting. Depending on what type of sedation you decide to use will also effect the overall cost. You are also encouraged to contact your insurance provider to see if any benefit coverage may apply to the procedure.
When searching for a gum graft dentist in Dallas, TX, it’s very important to find one who is qualified, experienced, and who will give you excellent treatment. Dr. Choi at North Texas Dental Surgery has many years of experience performing gum graft surgery and is ready to work with you to perfect your smile. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.
Gum Graft Surgery
Many people are concerned about the pain involved with gum graft surgery. It’s a fairly minor procedure and there is some discomfort afterwards however, it can be managed with Ibuprofen and pain medication, if needed. If tissue is taken from your palate, you may experience more discomfort and a slightly longer healing time than other graft types.
If you opt for a sedative during the gum grafting procedure, you will need someone to drive you home. You may also be drowsy for the 24 hours following the surgery so it’s recommended you do not drive during this time.
Discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of gum graft surgery during your consultation. You should ask questions about what you can expect during and after the procedure. Post-op care should also be discussed so you know how to take care of your mouth afterward. There may be certain foods you shouldn’t eat so it’s always best to know beforehand.
Types of Gum Grafts for the Gum Grafting Procedure
Free gingival grafts
Free gingival grafts are used for patients who have thin gum tissue. This type of graft takes tissue from the roof of the mouth and it is then attached to the exposed area.
This type of graft uses a piece of connective gum tissue, called subepithelial connective tissue, which is removed and stitched to the surrounding exposed root of the tooth.
Pedicle grafts do not use tissue from the roof of the mouth. Instead, the tissue is taken from around or near the tooth that needs to be treated. The tissue for a pedicle graft is not removed completely before being placed, leaving it attached at the edge. A pedicle graft is moved to cover the exposed root and is then stitched in place. This type of graft only works when a patient has enough surrounding gum tissue.
Other options for gum grafting include using tissue from a tissue bank or using tissue-stimulating proteins. Discuss with your doctor which gum grafting option will work best for your situation.
Gum Grafting Pain
Pain may be experienced after gingival grafts or gum graft procedures that involves the opening of a flap. Pain may occur for the first 3 days and is considered normal. It should diminish through the healing phase.
It is not uncommon to have slight swelling of the operated area after gum grafting. Chapped lips and bruising may also occur. Swelling can be minimized by applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Alternate 10-20 minutes on and 20 minutes off with the ice pack during the first 48 hours after surgery, or as needed. If you experience any major swelling, call your doctor immediately.
Tooth sensitivity is also common to experience after gum grafting surgery. It usually happens to cold beverages and will decrease over several weeks. Minimize the sensitivity by keeping the area free of plaque buildup. Contact your doctor if the sensitivity becomes extreme for recommendations on how to relieve the discomfort.
The amount of pain varies from patient to patient and depending on the type of graft received. It’s most noticeable during the first three days following the procedure. Your doctor will discuss pain relief options such as Ibuprofen or a prescription pain medicine.
Gum Grafting Success Rate
Gum grafting is very successful at treating gum recession if performed by a skilled dentist in Dallas, Texas, using the proper surgical technique. The success of the treatment can be effected by the amount of stress put on the graft following surgery and the amount of recession that was treated.
The survival of the gum graft depends upon the type of defect treated. There is a greater chance of success with narrow defects, or intact tissue between the teeth, since the tissue adjacent to the graft will help the graft survive. With a narrow defect, complete root coverage is predicted from treatment. With increased interdental bone loss, the success rate of root coverage is decreased.
Healing of gum grafts can be effected by movement, such as muscles pulling from inside the lip. Patients are usually asked not to look at the graft site during the first week, as pulling the lip up or down to look at it could cause it to move.
Gum Graft Alternative
One alternative to gum graft surgery is a procedure called the Pinhole Surgical Technique, or PST. The Pinhole Surgical Technique sounds like an amazing option at first; no sutures, no incisions, little downtime, fast healing and instant results. However, Dr. Choi does not perform or recommend this procedure because the long-term results are less than satisfactory.
What is the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique anyway? It is a procedure that uses a special tool to make tiny pinhole entry points in the gums. The gum tissue is then repositioned into the proper location. Strips of collagen are attached to the gum tissue to keep it in place during healing. Healing time is about half what it is compared to traditional gum grafting since there are no incisions. It may sound great but do you really want to have another surgery in the future because you didn’t get the results you were expecting? We recommend choosing a traditional gum grafting procedure for optimal results that will stand the test of time.
Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique
Who invented the Pinhole Surgical Technique? The PST was invented by John Chao to create a scalpel and suture-free alternative for gum recession correction. During the procedure, a special instrument is used to loosen the gum tissue through a small hole made by a needle. It is then positioned over the receded part of the tooth. Patients experience minimal pain, swelling and bleeding. They are also satisfied with the instant results in the appearance of their gums. However, this change can be short-lived.
Traditional Gum Graft versus Pinhole Surgical Technique
Traditional gum grafting surgery involves soft tissue grafts used to rebuild the gumline. The graft tissue is stitched in place to heal with the existing gum tissue. It’s a very effective treatment option for gum recession when performed by an experienced dentist.
The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique does not use grafts, incisions or sutures. Patients may be drawn to the simplicity of this procedure and the little pain and downtime involved, but they should also consider the cost involved with the less than stellar results they may end up with.
Gum Graft Recovery
Gum grafting is performed as an out-patient procedure. You will be able to go home afterward however, if you had sedation anesthesia, you will need someone to drive you home, as well as drive for you the next 24 hours.
Postoperative care instructions will be given to you by your dentist such as any limits on physical activity, diet and oral hygiene routine. You will be instructed not to brush or floss the repaired gumline until it has healed. A medicated rinse will be used during the healing process and you may be prescribed antibiotics.
During the first two weeks after gum grafting surgery, you should eat soft & cold foods. Some examples are: Jell-O, cottage cheese, eggs, ice cream, pasta and yogurt.
The type of gum graft you receive will determine how much pain you may experience after surgery. If you did not have tissue taken from the roof of your mouth, you should have only minor discomfort. If you did have tissue removed from the roof of your mouth, you may have pain for the first 3 days after surgery. The good news is that it heals fast. The pain can be compared to a bad “pizza burn.” Your doctor may prescribe you pain medicine or instruct you to take Ibuprofen to keep you comfortable after the procedure.
Contact us today at our office near Dallas, TX for a gum grafting consultation.