If your dentist tells you that you will need gum grafting, you don’t need to worry. When your gums start receding, your dentist near you recommends gum grafting. Gum recession exposes the root of your teeth, increasing the likelihood of tooth decay. It can also make the root sensitive and prone to abrasion. Your Fairfax dentist might refer you to a periodontist for this procedure.
By the looks of it, gum graft surgery is very simple, and all the periodontist does is take healthy tissue from the mouth and attach it to the receding gum. The procedure is very quick, and the patient can usually leave as soon as it is done. However, there are a few things that you need to know about this surgery. Firstly, there are various types of gum grafting. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the procedure in a bit more detail.
Once you arrive for your appointment, you will be taken to the procedure room, where our Fairfax dentist will give local anesthesia to numb the area where the procedure will be done. In some cases, general anesthesia can also be given so that patient is totally unconscious during the procedure. There are three different kinds of gum grafts. Now, how the gum grafting proceeds, depends on which kind of graft you are going for. Let’s look at the different types of grafts.
The first and most common gum graft that we have is the connective tissue graft. During this procedure, our dentist near Merrifield, VA, will cut a flap of skin from the roof of the mouth or palate. Then tissue from under the flap is removed and stitched to the gum tissue that is surrounding the exposed root. Once the graft is placed, the flap is stitched back down.
The next graft is known as a pedicle graft. During this procedure, tissue is not taken from the palate. Instead, it is collected from the gum around the tooth that needs to be repaired. This flap, known as a pedicle, is only partially cut so that one edge remains intact and attached. The gum is then pulled over the exposed root and sewn into place, covering the root. However, there is a catch with this procedure. It can only be performed on patients with sufficient gum tissue near the exposed tooth root.
Lastly, we have the free gingival graft. Like a connective-tissue graft, the tissue is extracted from the roof of the mouth during this procedure. However, instead of making a flap and removing tissue from its underside, the tissue is directly removed from the mouth’s roof. It is then attached to the gum area that has to be treated. This method is mostly used for people with thin gums and who need extra tissue to enlarge their gums.
Once the gum grafting procedure is over, you will be allowed to go home. However, if the dentist has given you some kind of sedative for the procedure, you will be in no position to drive home, and you will need help to go home. The dentist will give you specific instructions on how to take care of your gums. After the surgery, it is important that you don’t floss or brush the repaired gum line because that may cause damage and hinder the healing process.
You will also be asked to rinse your mouth using a special product to control plaque. Aside from that, you might have to take antibiotics for a couple of days to reduce the risk of infection. For the first couple of weeks after the procedure, patients are asked to eat cool and soft foods such as ice cream, vegetables, cottage cheese, yogurt, Jell-O, eggs, and pasta.
As for the amount of pain after the procedure is concerned; it depends on the type of gum graft that the periodontist performed. If no tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth, you should have little to no discomfort. Otherwise, there will be some pain.
Looking for gum grafting in Fairfax, VA? You can call or book an appointment with Drummond Dental Care today!