Will you be undergoing a gum graft procedure? Our dentists at Family Dental Care - Downtown Prince George offer advice on what to expect and how to prepare for your gum graft surgery.
What is a gum graft?
If you are experiencing the effects of gum disease, your gums may begin to recede, which can leave the roots of your teeth exposed. This can leave your tooth surfaces more vulnerable to sensitivity, abrasion and decay.
If this begins to happen then your dentist may recommend a gingival gum graft to address the condition. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of the procedure, how to prepare, its success rate, and other aspects to take into consideration.
What is a gingival gum graft?
The gingival gum graft procedure involves removing tissue that is healthy from a patient’s palate, and then grafting or transplanting this tissue to the section of the gums where they have receded. In some cases, this technique entails using tissue from a donor.
What are some of the benefits of a gingival gum graft?
Some benefits of a gingival gum graft are:
- Protect the tooth against further gum recession
- Decrease sensitivity in teeth where the gum has worn away by covering the exposed root with new gum tissue
- Stabilize and strengthen the gum covering a tooth
- Restore the natural appearance of your smile (depending on the case)
How to prepare for gum graft surgery
- Two appointments are needed for a gum graft: the first to perform the surgery and the second to remove sutures and check that the graft is healing correctly.
- You do not need to modify your diet or fast prior to the procedure – just show up at your appointed time.
- You’ll want to arrange a ride to and from your appointment, as you’ll be taking medication for pain and discomfort, which may make it unsafe to drive.
- The oral surgeon will use local anesthesia to numb the area affected by the procedure.
- The procedure typically takes about an hour and a half.
- Your graft will be sutured, so you’ll need 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.
The Gum Graft Procedure
Your oral surgeon will take the following steps to perform the 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.
The success rate for gum grafts is very high. Typically, the likelihood of success increases considerably when patients brush and floss correctly following the procedure.
Pinhole Surgical Technique As Another Option
The Pinhole Surgical Technique is an alternative option to a gum graft and provides immediate results. This less invasive procedure involves the surgeon poking a small hole in the gum above the tooth or teeth that need 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.