Nearly half of all adult Americans are suffering from some form of periodontal disease (gum recession). For many of these cases, a gum graft surgery is needed to help reduce the damage.
Read on to learn more about gum graft surgery and what can be expected from the procedure.
WHAT IS GUM GRAFT SURGERY?
Gum graft surgery is a dental procedure that’s used to help reduce or reverse gum recession. While the name may be intimidating, the procedure is relatively quick and straight forward.
During the procedure, the periodontist will use pieces of healthy tissue that has been collected from the roof of the mouth to help create new tissue where the gums have declined.
WHAT DOES THE PROCEDURE INVOLVE?
There are various ways for a periodontist to complete a gum graft surgery. They can complete the process through connective tissue grafts, free gingival grafts, or with pedicle (lateral) grafts.
While each procedure varies in technique, all of them involve the use of healthy tissue being removed and placed where the receding gum tissue is occurring. The type of procedure the periodontist uses will depend on the severity of the gum recession and the amount of available healthy tissue.
With any gum graft surgery, the periodontist will first use an anesthetic to ensure the patient does not feel any pain throughout the procedure.
WHO SHOULD GET GUM GRAFT SURGERY?
Whether or not a gum graft surgery is actually necessary will depend on the severity of the gum recession. Typically, the surgery is reserved for progressed cases of gum recession. The further along the gum recession, the higher the likelihood of tooth loss.
What makes gum recession particularly difficult is that few notice it even occurring until it’s too late. If you are able to catch the gum recession early on, a gum tissue graft may not be needed. However, in most cases, it is highly recommended.
THE AVERAGE COST OF GUM GRAFT SURGERY
There are several factors that will determine the final cost of your gum graft surgery. The first is how severe the gum recession is and the type of gum graft surgery method that will be required.
The second is whether or not you have dental insurance and if that dental insurance will cover part or all of the procedure. Your dental office will usually be able to provide you with a quote prior to the procedure taking place.
RECOVERING FROM GUM GRAFT SURGERY
Since gum graft surgery in a minimally invasive procedure, the recovery time is generally quick, only take a couple of weeks to fully heal.
However, there are some actions that can be taken in order to speed up recovery. First, be sure to use antibiotics to help reduce the chance of an infection occurring. You’ll also want to stick to foods that are soft and easy to eat, such as pasta, cheese, or ice cream.
Finally, it’s recommended to use a special mouthwash and to avoid brushing or flossing near the graft.
TAKING THE RIGHT STEPS TOWARD ORAL HEALTH
Gum graft surgery is a smart choice to help reverse the damage of gum recession. However, there are steps you can take early on to keep the recession from occurring in the first place.
Be sure to brush and floss your teeth each day and to make regular visits to your dentist to keep your oral health at its best.