Gum graft

Restores thickness and height to a weakened gum

Gum grafting restores thickness and height to a weakened gum. It strengthens the soft tissue that protects the teeth and restores a beautiful smile. It is a dental surgery operation that is both preventive, restorative and aesthetic.

Indications for gum grafting

Before considering a gum graft, the dentist first treats the cause of the gum tissue recession.

He evaluates the degree of retraction of the gum and the risks of evolution. Depending on the case, he may recommend :

  • To use a less aggressive brushing technique with a soft bristle brush.
  • To treat gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • To remove piercings in the mouth.
  • Wearing a mouthpiece at night to eliminate the effects of bruxism.

Good hygiene and tartar removal, coupled with medical treatment, may be sufficient for less serious cases.

The dentist resorts to gum grafting when the teeth are in danger of falling out or when the pain associated with exposing the tooth root is too great.

However, when the periodontium is too seriously affected, with significant bone loss, soft tissue grafting alone is not indicated because the gum would not have enough bone to support it.

Greffe de gencive | Gum graft

The process of the operation

The gingival graft is performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. It lasts between one to three hours.

The operation consists of grafting a thin layer of soft tissue on the missing part of the gum to place it where the loosening of the gum is observed, in order to stop its progression.

The objectives of a gum graft are multiple:

  • To cover the bare root to protect it from decay, wear and tear and to remove tooth sensitivity.
  • Thicken the gum to prevent the risk of recurrence of retraction.
  • Create a new gum when the gum height is insufficient.
  • Beautify the appearance of the gums for teeth that are visible when smiling or speaking.

The procedure is carried out in several stages

Preparation of the receiving site

The dentist refines the gum with a scalpel or small curettes to prepare it to receive the new tissue.

Graft harvesting

The palate consists of two layers of tissue: the epithelium on the surface and the connective tissue in depth.

Depending on the case, the dentist removes either a flap of tissue from the outer epithelial layer or connective tissue from the sub-epithelial layer. He then stitches the epithelium to protect the wound.

In some cases, the dentist uses a collagen graft substitute. In these cases, there is no longer a sample taken from the palate. However, it is not possible to treat all patients with this type of biomaterial substitute.

Gum grafting

The dentist positions the graft at the level of the gum recession and covers it with a flap of adjacent gum.

Then he sutures and applies a dressing to protect the gum from infection during the healing process.

After the operation

After the gum graft, the dentist prescribes analgesics and/or anti-inflammatory drugs to avoid discomfort and possible complications.

The patient may experience bruising and swelling of the cheek. In case of slight bleeding, it is advisable to preserve the graft by biting into a sterile compress rather than mouthwash.

The patient should avoid eating and brushing teeth on the side of the graft for the first few days and then use a soft bristle brush.

It takes three to four months for the new gums to heal completely.

The success of the operation can be compromised by resuming smoking too early.

The results

The result is visible from the first few weeks and continues to evolve over the following six to twelve months. The bare parts of the gums regenerate and the soft tissues are strengthened.

It is now possible to cover 50-70% of recessions completely. The average height of recovery is 75%.

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