What is a gum graft?
When patients have periodontits, their bones are not the only things affected. Gum tissue can also suffer, and periodontitis often leads to gum tissue destruction and loss. Trinity Dental Centers has a dental care staff that is committed to helping you receive the highest level of treatment and care to overcome gum disease and regain your healthy smile.
A gum graft will help reduce additional tissue damage and loss and can be used to cover roots where excessive gum loss has occurred. During your gum graft, tissue is taken from your palate to cover the exposed area of the tooth’s root or gumline. We exercise the highest level of care during your gum graft procedure to ensure that we return your mouth to its healthy state!
Why do you need a dental bone or gum graft?
Dental implants cannot be placed without proper support. Dental trauma, periodontitis, and other oral injuries may lead to insufficient bone to support and secure your implants. When tooth loss occurs, the bone surrounding the area melts away as well. Enough teeth and bone loss can result in aged appearance and further complicated treatment for replacing the missing teeth with implants. When patients lack sufficient, healthy bone, a bone/gum graft is the ideal solution to form a solid foundation.
What happens during gum grafting?
The procedure starts with localized anesthetic and an incision in your gum tissue is made to expose the bone. Next, your Trinity Dental oral surgeon connects the bone graft material to the exposed bone in the mouth. The collagen and proteins from the bone promote further bone development to occur. At the end of the bone/gum graft, the treated area is sutured, closing the gum tissue up.
Where does the bone for my gum graft come from?
At Trinity Dental Centers, we offer four options for bone grafting materials:
- Autograft: The bone is taken from your chin, hip, or shin bone and removed using anesthesia and sedation.
- Allograft: The bone is collected from another human.
- Xenograft: This bone material is typically harvested from animals (usually cows).
- Alloplast: The alloplast is a synthetic bone graft created in a lab and carefully cleaned and disinfected before being used for your bone/gum graft procedure.
Other procedures requiring bone regrowth are:
Sinus lift: This process increases the length of the bone in your upper jaw to support your dental implants.
Ridge expansion: This surgical procedure widens the upper jaw to support your dental implants by dividing the bone. Then, bone graft material is placed in the parted area to form new bone.
Distraction osteogenesis: This process allows a short bone to turn into a longer one. During the surgery, your bone is cut, and a distractor draws the split bones apart slowly, forming new bone in their space.
Alveolar ridge preservation: This socket preservation procedure reduces the risk of bone loss after tooth extraction and inhibits bone resorption.
What happens after receiving my gum graft?
Gum graft aftercare involves oral care instructions from your dentist that are specific to your needs while you wait for the new bone to regenerate. Typically, healing takes half a year to nine months, and during this time, you will be unable to wear your dentures and consume certain food products. Your Trinity Dental dentist will prescribe antibiotics to ward off infection and pain medication to help ease the discomfort.
While a gum graft might sound daunting, it is a minor surgical procedure and an excellent route to take due to strengthening your jawbone, providing for efficient tooth replacement, and creating a confident smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!