All About Gum Grafting
The idea of oral surgery can be daunting for a lot of patients. If you’re coming into our office for a gum grafting procedure, we will ensure you are calm and comfortable before anything starts.
Our strategy is to educate you on gum grafting now so that you don’t feel intimidated when appointment day comes. So what is gum grafting?
What Is Gum Grafting?
Gum grafting is used to treat gum recession, but the procedure isn’t cosmetic. Patients whose gums have receded to expose more of their teeth are at heightened risk for disease and damage. Gum grafting takes part of your other tissue or donor tissue and melds it to your gums to increase coverage. This protects your teeth and gums.
What Is Gum Grafting Surgery?
When a patient has problems with a receding gum line, we usually treat it with gum grafting surgery. During this surgery, we use one of these four methods to collect the graft tissue.
Traditional Gum Graft
In a traditional gum graft surgery, we gather the necessary tissue from the roof of your mouth. We make an incision and collect the tissue, then sew the incision back up. This takes a while to heal from, which is less convenient and more painful.
Microsurgical Gum Graft
We typically use an innovative method of microsurgery to collect the gum graft tissue. To do this, we make a tiny hole in the roof of your mouth, collect the tissue, and sew the micro-incision up. Since the incision is tiny, the healing time is almost immediate. This is far less invasive and painful than a traditional gum graft.
Donated Graft Tissue
If you tend to experience heightened side effects after surgeries, we use donor tissue for your graft. This minimizes the amount of surgical work we need to perform in your mouth. The donor tissue is sterilized and then grafted onto your gums.
The Pinhole Technique
This is our newest innovative surgical technique for gum grafting. For the Pinhole technique, we use collagen instead of tissue. In this case, we move your existing gum tissue to cover more of the bottom of your teeth. Then, we use collagen to secure the gums in position and provide more durability.
Before any type of gum grafting surgery, we will guide you through our decisions. We make sure to inform you of the type of surgery you’ll be getting.
Is Gum Grafting Painful?
Our modern gum grafting surgery is far less painful than gum grafting used to be. Gum grafting is not overly painful for the majority of patients. Because we use such a tiny incision to collect graft tissue, you will barely feel the aftereffects.
We offer a few options for numbing and sedation. Typically, we perform gum grafting using local anesthesia, which is a numbing injection. You won’t feel anything during the surgery. However, if you are anxious or require extensive surgical work, we can sedate you. We want you to feel comfortable and empowered in our periodontal chair.
How Long Does Gum Grafting Take?
Most of our gum grafting procedures take 45 minutes to an hour. Your surgery may be longer if you have extenuating circumstances that we need to take care of. Gum grafting is a same-day procedure, meaning you get to go home right after it is done.
With our minimally invasive gum grafting procedure, your healing time is also very short. Most patients only need over-the-counter pain medication for a day or two. After that, your gum graft will heal painlessly.
Keep in mind that if you opt for sedation, you will need someone to drive you home after your gum graft. We cannot allow patients to drive after being put under sedation. Please arrange transportation before your appointment.
How Long Does Gum Grafting Last?
The majority of patients never need additional gum grafts after their initial surgery. However, this will depend on how you care for your teeth and gums at home.
If you practice good oral hygiene, your gum graft will last without issues. The following are great habits to add to your daily routine:
- Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day
- Floss once a day
- Use antiseptic mouthwash once a day
- Do not smoke or use chewing tobacco
If you follow these guidelines and take care of your gum health, you should have no problems with your gum graft. Failing to take proper care of your teeth and gums could result in more surgeries to fix the issues.
How Often Do Gum Grafts Fail?
Gum grafting is a highly effective procedure with a very low failure rate. Our skilled periodontal surgeons have a wealth of knowledge and experience to give you the best results. However, in very rare, extreme cases, gum grafts can fail.
The failure rate is about 2% out of all gum graft surgeries. This can happen if there is no proper blood supply near the graft. That would damage the grafted tissue and call for another graft. Again, this is very rare, especially with good periodontal surgeons.
Is Gum Grafting Expensive?
Gum graft surgery can range in price depending on your insurance coverage. Most dental insurance will cover a portion of the cost of gum grafts. You should always check with your provider to find out exactly what is covered.
The general cost of a gum graft is between $600 and $1,200 per individual graft. This means that if you have two teeth that need gum grafts, the cost will range from $1,200 to $2,400 before insurance.
Gum grafting is not just a cosmetic procedure; the measure protects your dental health, too. Otherwise, gum recession can cause damage to your teeth and gums. This being the case, your insurance may or may not cover a large portion of the cost.
It is important to note the significance of gum grafts when you are suffering from receding gums. Without a gum graft, your gum recession can lead to gum disease, tooth sensitivity, infected roots, and a lot of pain. It is worth investing in your dental health so you can enjoy a great smile for years to come!