Cosmetic Hard and Soft Tissue Grafting
A gum graft (also known as a gingival graft or periodontal plastic surgery), is a collective name for surgical periodontal procedures that aim to cover an exposed tooth root surface with grafted oral tissue.
Exposed tooth roots are usually the result of gingival recession due to periodontal disease. There are other common causes, including overly aggressive brushing and trauma.
Common types of gum grafting:
Free gingival graft – This procedure is often used to thicken gum tissue. A layer of tissue is removed from the palate and relocated to the area affected by gum recession. Both sites will quickly heal without permanent damage.
Subepithelial connective tissue graft – This procedure is commonly used to cover exposed roots. Tissue is removed fairly painlessly from the outer layer of the palate and relocated to the site of gum recession.
Acellular dermal matrix allograft – This procedure uses medically processed, donated human tissue as a tissue source for the graft. The advantage of this is procedure is that there is no need for a donor site from the patient’s palate (and thus, less pain).
Reasons for gum grafting:
Gum grafting is a common periodontal procedure. Though the name might sound frightening, the procedure is commonly performed with excellent results.
Major benefits associated with gum grafting:
Reduced sensitivity – When the tooth root becomes exposed, eating or drinking hot or cold foods can cause extreme sensitivity to the teeth. Gum grafting surgery permanently covers the exposed root, helps reduce discomfort, and restores the good health of the gums.
Improved appearance – Periodontal disease is characterized by gum recession and inflammation. Gum recession and root exposure can make the teeth look longer than normal and the smile to appear “toothy.” Gum grafting can make the teeth look shorter, more symmetrical and generally more pleasing to look at. In addition, adjacent tissue can be enhanced and augmented during the procedure for aesthetic purposes.
Improved gum health – Periodontal disease can progress and destroy gum tissue very rapidly. If left untreated, a large amount of gum tissue can be lost in a short period of time. Gum grafting can help halt tissue and bone loss; preventing further problems and protecting exposed roots from further decay.
What does gum grafting treatment involve?
Once the need for gum grafting surgery has been determined, there are several treatments the dentist will want perform before gum grafting takes place. First, the teeth must be thoroughly cleaned supra and subgingivally to remove calculus (tartar) and bacteria. The dentist can also provide literature, advice and educational tools to increase the effectiveness of homecare and help reduce the susceptibility of periodontal disease in the future.
The gum grafting procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic. The exact procedure will depend much on whether tissue is coming from the patient’s palate or a tissue bank.
Initially, small incisions will be made at the recipient site to create a small pocket to accommodate the graft. Then a split thickness incision is made and the connective tissue graft is inserted into the space between the two sections of tissue. The graft is usually slightly larger than the recession area, so some excess will be apparent.
Sutures are often placed to further stabilize the graft and to prevent any shifting from the designated site. Surgical material is used to protect the surgical area during the first week of healing. Uniformity and healing of the gums will be achieved in approximately six weeks.
Cosmetic Hard Tissue Grafting:
Cosmetic hard tissue grafting, often referred to as bone grafting can be performed in instances where missing teeth have resulted in insufficient bone support (bony defects) for dental implants or other restorative procedures. The grafting material is usually acquired from a tissue donor. The graft not only replaces missing bone, but also helps your body to regrow its own lost bone. This new bone growth strengthens the grafted area by forming a bridge between your existing bone and the graft material. Over time your own newly formed bone will replace much of the grafted material.
Examples of jawbone defects that may require bone grafting:
- Defects which occur following tooth extraction
- Generalized decrease in quantity of jawbone from trauma or long-term tooth loss
- Defects resulting from cysts or tumor surgery
- Jawbone resorption that results in painful or difficult denture use
Connective Tissue – ALLOGRAFT
Pre-Operative photo taken September 14, 2016
Post-Operative photo taken October 12, 2016
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or loosens a band of muscle tissue that is connected to the lip, cheek or floor of the mouth. It is usually performed under local anesthetic. See an example below:
One month check up 4/19/2017