What is Gingival Grafting?
A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems. A thin piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth, or gently moved over from adjacent areas, to provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. This barrier prevents further recession and infection. This process also eliminates marginal inflammation, which is usually associated with a mucosal marginal gingival tissue. Exposed roots can sometimes be covered by placing a graft directly over the site.
Effects of Gingival Grafting
The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable, and results in a stable, healthy band of attached tissue. This added tissue reseals and protects the tooth and underlying bone. Both the graft site and the donor site will heal properly since the connective tissue contains the same genetic coding.
In comparison to other forms of periodontal treatment, gingival grafts produce the following results.
In addition, gingival grafts are non-traumatic, require less time off for patients, and offer excellent long-term results.
Candidates for Gingival Grafting
When recession of the gingiva occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma.
The dentist diagnoses gingival recession by a simple visual examination of the teeth. What is more important is the diagnosis of the cause of receeding gums.
If the problem is located on only some teeth, usually the front teeth, it is an indication that way of brushing and abrasion is the cause of receding gums. The dentist will also examine if the bite alignment (occlusion) or tooth grinding (bruxism) is causing gingival recession to the teeth involved.
If all teeth have receding gums, it is more likely that gum disease should be blamed. A periodontal screening examination including x-rays and periodontal probe measurements is needed to diagnose the extent of periodontal disease and possible damages.
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 gums will be numbed so that you do not feel anything. Our goal is to ensure your maximum comfort. A small piece of gum from the palate (“donor” site) will be taken and sutured to the area with minimal attached gingival (“recipient” site).
The visit to perform gingival graft takes about 30 to 60 minutes. The stitches are then removed approximately one week later, in about 10 minutes. One or two 10 minute check-ups may be required to ensure the area has healed properly.
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.
Carefully following the instructions will help you understand what to expect and ensure that you heal as best as possible.
Excessive bleeding from the palatal donor site does occur in some patients. Also, if the graft fails to "take" the recession defect can be worsened
Will the gingival graft procedure hurt?
Only “novocaine” is necessary to perform a gingival graft. During the visit you will feel nothing once the area has been numbed. When the "novocaine" wears off, there will be some mild discomfort. Medication will be prescribed to control any discomfort you might experience. This procedure will not cause you to miss work, etc.
How well will the gingival graft procedure work?
A gingival graft procedure is highly predictable. If the procedure is carried out correctly, the end result is a healthy stable band of attached gum tissue which reseals and protects the tooth and underlying bone.
Should the treatment be repeated?
Gingival regeneration obtained after treatment is affected by continued bacterial that cannot be stopped. Patients will need new regeneration sequences at intervals established by the dentist.