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Considering a gum graft? Here's what you should know

If you are in need of a gum graft procedure read these tips and facts provided by our Winnipeg dentists to help you get prepared for this form of dental surgery. 

What to Expect From a Gum Graft

If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, your gums might start receding, exposing the roots of your teeth. This can make the surfaces of your teeth more vulnerable to abrasion, sensitivity, and decay.

To address this condition your dentist might recommend a gingival gum graft. Here, we talk about the benefits of this procedure, how you can prepare for it, the success rate, and other factors you should keep in mind. 

Defeining a Gingival Gum Graft

In a gingival gum graft, tissue is removed from a patient’s palate and then grafted (transplanted) to an area where the gums have receded. In some situations, this method requires using tissue from a donor.

The Benefits of Gingival Gum Grafts

Gingival gum grafts are able to:

  • Stabilize and strengthen the gum covering a tooth
  • Protect the tooth against further gum recession
  • Restore the natural appearance of your smile (depending on the case)
  • Decrease sensitivity in teeth where the gum has worn away by covering the exposed root with new gum tissue

How You Can Prepare Yourself

  • You'll need two appointments for your gum graft: the first is to perform the surgery and the second is to remove sutures and see if the graft is healing properly.
  • You don't have to modify your diet or fast before 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 could 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, and 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 Procedure

Your dentist will take the following steps to perform the gum graft procedure:

Step 1

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.

Step 2

The graft tissue is harvested.

Step 3

The tissue will be grafted onto the site where the gum is receding.

Success Rate

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.

Another Option: Pinhole Surgical Technique

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 needs 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.

Contact our dentists in Winnipeg with any questions or inquiries you have about gum graft procedures. 

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