A dental gum graft is one of the most common surgical procedures that treats gum diseases, such as gum recession – a condition when gums are pulled away from the teeth, exposing the roots underneath. These uncovered roots of the teeth increase the chances of microbial attack resulting in cavities or tooth decay, sensitivity issues, and bone or tooth loss, compromising the generalized well-being of your oral cavity. The complicated surgery of gums including grafting is the responsibility of a qualified periodontist; someone who receives three years of additional hands-on training or experience after completing a graduate degree in dentistry.
The process of disease progression is slow, therefore, gum disorders or diseases are often neglected and left unattended until they become severe.
Who Needs Dental Gum Graft?
People suffering from gum diseases, particularly recessed gums are prone to go under dental grafting. The roots of your gums may also get exposed if you’re too aggressive while brushing or cleaning your teeth.
Before experiencing dental surgery, it is important to regularly consult your dentist or periodontist so he/she can examine the pockets around your gums and their health. It will also be checked to what extent your gums are recessed around each tooth. Treatment options for receded gums will be discussed with you in detail before scheduling an appointment.
3 Types of Dental Gum Graft
Typically, there are three different types of surgical grafting procedures to treat your gum disorders and maintain your oral health.
1. Connective-Tissue Crafts (CTG)
This is the most common method to treat exposed roots of the gums. In this surgical procedure, your doctor will remove a healthy part of the gum from the upper palate. The tissue layer under this flap, known as subepithelial connective tissue, is removed. This flap, without a tissue layer, is then stitched to the gum tissue in the area where gums are pulled out and exposing the roots. After removing it from under the palatal flap, the tissue is fixed or stitched back down.
2. Free Gingival Grafts
In a free gingival graft, a small amount of tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth and attached to the part of the gums where treatment is required. This method is quite similar to connective-tissue grafts, with the only difference being that a flap is created after cutting the sub-epithelial layer of connective tissue. This method is recommended for people having thinner gums than normal and those who need additional tissue enlargement in their gums.
3. Pedicle Grafts
In this surgical procedure, the tissue is grafted from a normal area that is near the affected gums where roots are denuded rather than extracting the gums and the tissues from the hard palate. This flap is named a pedicle, and it is partially cut away to keep the other edge attached to the gums. The gum is then pulled over or down to cover and treat the exposed roots and then sewn in place. This surgery is suitable for individuals having a rich number of gum tissues near the teeth.
Depending on your personal choice and the overall health condition of the mouth, your dentist may suggest or refer you to receive a matching graft material from a registered tissue bank instead of using the tissues from your own gums.
Check out Dentists in Stamford.
Prerequisites to Dental Gum Graft
The methodologies, techniques, and equipment used to perform dental gum operations are specific to each of its types. As already discussed, you’ll be best guided by your dental care professional to utilize tissue from either a licensed tissue and bone bank or your own upper palate.
Your dental expert will ensure to follow these essential protocols to carry out a successful surgery of the gums.
Before performing any surgery, anesthesia is important to numb the area where the surgery will be performed. The assigned anesthesiologist will evaluate, monitor and supervise your dental conditions before, during, and after the surgery. Local anesthesia numbs your teeth and gums; you may also be able to avail the option of sedation dentistry including nitrous oxide, intravenous (IV) sedation, or oral sedation.
After anesthesia, it is to make sure you’re positioned comfortably to undergo the surgery. Once you’re easy and relaxed, the surgeon will create an incision or cut most likely in the hard palate of your oral cavity in order to make a small flap in your gums. In addition, the roots of your teeth will also be cleansed thoroughly.
Gum Graft Reaping
After successfully preparing the site for operation, another incision is made to remove a small wedge of the inner or sub-epithelial tissue, keeping the outside layer totally intact. The site is then closed by using sutures or periodontal dressing.
If you’ve received the gum tissue donated from a certified tissue bank, the surgeon will skip this step.
Gum Graft Placement
On the exposed areas of gum roots, the graft is placed over the roots.
Using sutures, your periodontist will start repositioning your gum tissues and stitching them into place. Either of the types of stitches may be utilized; one that will fall on its own after a specific period of time, the other may need manual removal so you’ll need a follow-up visit to your doctor.
Duration of Gum Grafting
Depending on the number of roots exposed due to gum recession, the procedure can be time-taking. Normally, it takes one hour to cover the exposed roots of one tooth. The greater the number of teeth with recessed gums, the longer it takes to graft them.
After the dental gum graft surgery, you’ll be provided with dressings and gauze. The gauze can typically be removed after half an hour; the dressing may fall out on its own after a few days. If not, you’ll be asked to visit your surgeon to get your dressings removed. Your follow-up sessions will be continued for routine monitoring till complete recovery is ensured.
Also, check Single Tooth Replacement.