Soft tissue grafting or Gum Graft
Gum tissue supports teeth to keep teeth in alignment but also protects teeth from infection by acting as a barrier against bacteria, plaque and tartar. Many individuals experience problems with gum tissue receding as they age but receding gums can also be caused by periodontal gum disease, brushing teeth too hard, infection or a genetic problem. Receding gums can cause dental problems as the gum does not provide complete protection from tooth decay and infection, but receding gums also damage the appearance of the mouth making teeth look overly long. If the gums recede excessively exposing the tooth root, many people experience sensitivity in the tooth and are unhappy with the appearance of their smile. Soft tissue grafts are used by dentists to rebuild the gum tissue around exposed teeth to prevent gums from receding further and to enhance the appearance of teeth.
Procedure for Soft Tissue Graft
Periodontists will perform the soft tissue graft with tissue taken from one of three areas:
Free Gingival Graft
Tissue can be taken from the roof of the mouth to replace missing gum tissue. The graft is then stitched around the exposed tooth root and attached to existing gum tissue. This is known as a Free Gingival Graft.
If there is enough gum tissue covering adjacent teeth, dentists can stretch this tissue to replace missing tissue in a Pedicle Graft procedure.
Using a flap incision, dentists are able to remove tissue from the underneath connective tissue layer of the roof of the mouth. The incision is sealed and the connective tissue graft is placed underneath existing gum tissue and stitched in place.
Once the graft has been stitched in place, the periodontist will cover the graft with a protective dressing to allow it to heal. The healing process usually takes 1-2 weeks with traditional surgical methods and less than half this time with laser. After the soft tissue graft is securely in place, dentists may need to reshape the gum in a gum recontouring procedure.
This procedure is recommended for both aesthetic and functional reasons. Teeth left with recession could loss more gum tissue and bone, leading to loss of the tooth. Due to use of laser, these techniques are more conservative and minimally invasive. The conservative manipulation of the areas being treated as well as gentle action of the laser, minimizes the post operative discomfort experienced by the patient, with minimal to no blood loss. The Bio-stimulatory effect of the laser also helps a faster surgical recovery.
Dr. Elyassian has successfully treated hundreds of cases of soft tissue grafting with the use of laser. Laser assisted gum graft is less invasive and less painful than traditional methods. Petients feel no pain during the surgey and recovery is short and often pain free. Ask about this procedure, costs, and other treatment options by scheduling your FREE consultation today!