Soft Tissue Grafting

Soft Tissue Grafting

Soft Tissue Grafting

Gum grafting is a procedure in which receding gums are repaired via a tissue graft. This is important because without sufficient tissue surrounding the tooth, it becomes susceptible to bacteria and decay. Many patients do not realize they have receding gums until the symptoms become severe. This includes sensitivity to extreme temperatures, inflammation of the gums, and teeth that appear longer. Receding gums can affect one tooth or many teeth. It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible or you could risk losing a tooth to decay.

Patients who suffer from receding gums often become self-conscious of their appearance. Receding gums lowers the gum line, leaving a larger portion of the tooth exposed. To many, the appearance can be unattractive. By undergoing gum grafting, the amount of exposed tooth is lessened, giving patients an increase in confidence. If there are no underlying health issues, Dr. Hacker may even recommend the Chao Pinhole® Surgical technique as a minimally invasive option. But while this technique is strictly cosmetic, traditional soft tissue grafting is both a cosmetic and restorative procedure.

There are currently three different methods of gum grafting surgery available. The specific type of surgery used will be determined by your specific condition and needs.

  • Connective Tissue Graft – This form of gum grafting involves cutting a flap of skin from the roof of the mouth and removing tissue from beneath the flap. Afterward, the flap is sewn back to its original position. The removed tissue is then grafted to the gum line and given time to attach itself to the original gum tissue. This is the most common form of gum grafting.
  • Free Gingival Graft – Rather than cutting a flap of skin first, we take a tissue sample directly from the roof of your mouth. We then attach this tissue directly to the area of the gums being treated. This is generally preferred for patients with thinner gums.
  • Pedicle Grafts – This is a form of gum grafting in which tissue is taken directly from the area being treated. First we cut a small flap from the gums, leaving one side still attached, and pull it up around the tooth. We then stitch it in place and give it time to heal.

Be sure to follow careful instructions about post-operative care so as not to disrupt the healing process.

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