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Gum Graft
New Orleans

Serving Lakeview, West End, Metairie & Bucktown

Dentist explaining an x-ray to a woman patient.A gum graft is a dental procedure that we perform regularly for our patients in new Orleans, LA. The procedure repairs receding gums, which are a common issue caused by gum disease, aggressive tooth brushing, or genetics. During the procedure, we carefully remove a small piece of tissue, often from the roof of the mouth, and graft it onto the areas that have receded. This graft covers exposed tooth roots, prevents further gum recession, and enhances the cosmetics of the patient's smile. Gum grafts also reduce tooth sensitivity and protect against further dental complications.

The idea of a gum graft may sound intimidating, but the procedure is routine, the recovery time is short, and it is a proactive protection against worsening dental problems. Gum grafts promote overall dental health, and the cosmetic renewal increases confidence. But it's important to remember that the best protection from all dental issues is to have great oral hygiene, and regular dental check ups.

What is Gum Grafting?

Gum grafting is a dental procedure that repairs receding gums. This is a common issue that often leads to other oral health concerns. In a typical gum graft procedure, a skilled periodontist or oral surgeon extracts a small piece of tissue from the patient's palate or another donor source, and carefully grafts it onto the receded area of the gums. This covers exposed tooth roots and prevents further recession. In addition, gum grafting enhances the appearance of the smile, reduces tooth sensitivity, and the procedure safeguards against further complications. Gum grafting is crucial to maintain oral health and prevent more severe issues from gum recession.

Reasons for Gum Grafts

Gum grafts are recommended for many reasons. The primary root cause is periodontal gum disease, where a bacterial infection damages gum tissue, and leads to their gradual recession. The root of periodontal disease and receding gums is often poor dental hygiene, avoiding dental check ups, and tobacco use. Aggressive tooth brushing habits also cause gums to recede. The excessive force wears down the delicate gum tissue over time. Genetic factors make some patients prone to receding gums, even without the external factors. Even hormonal changes may cause gum tissue to recede, and require gum grafts. Regardless of the cause, gum grafts restore the health and appearance of the gums, cover exposed tooth roots, reduce sensitivity, and prevent further complications such as decay or tooth loss. The procedure is a proactive approach that renews dental health and structure.

Types of Gum Grafts

There are several types of gum grafts, and each one serves a specific purpose that addresses individual needs. The choice of graft type depends on factors such as the extent of gum recession, oral health, and the specific goals of the procedure. A thorough examination by our team, and communication with the patient determines the best approach.

Connective Tissue Grafts

Connective tissue grafts are the most common gum grafting procedure. The surgeon takes a small flap of tissue from underneath the surface layer of the palate, and grafts it onto the affected area.

Free Gingival Grafts

Free gingival grafts are similar to connective tissue grafts, but the top layer of tissue from the surface of the palate is used and grafted onto receded gum areas. This type is particularly beneficial for individuals with naturally thin gums.

Pedicle Grafts

Pedicle Grafts do not use tissue from the palate. Instead, the surgeon uses nearby healthy gum tissue to create a flap, known as a pedicle, which is then partially moved over exposed tooth roots. This technique retains a blood supply from the original location, which aids the healing process.

Gum Graft Procedure

The gum graft procedure is a meticulous and well-established surgery that repairs receding gums. The process involves several key steps:

Pre-procedure Preparation

First, we carefully assess the extent of gum recession, and identify the most suitable type of graft for the individual case. Patients are encouraged to ask questions and voice any concerns prior to the procedure.

Grafting Process

The chosen graft is then harvested, usually from the palate, but sometimes from another source. We then graft the tissue onto the receded area of the gums. This covers exposed tooth roots and creates a healthier gum line with a more attractive appearance. Advanced techniques may involve the use of membranes or tissue-stimulating proteins to ensure a successful graft, and quick recovery.

Post-procedure Care

After the procedure, patients are given post-procedure care instructions to ensure proper healing and minimal discomfort. Proper aftercare is crucial to the healing process.

Recovery and Aftercare

Recovery and aftercare are a crucial step of the gum graft procedure. Proper aftercare ensures successful healing and results. Post surgery, patients may experience discomfort, swelling, and minor bleeding. Pain medication and antibiotics are often prescribed to manage pain and prevent infection. It is essential for patients to follow the aftercare instructions provided. They include guidelines for oral hygiene practices: gentle brushing, and the use of a prescribed mouthwash to keep the surgical site clean.

We advise patients to avoid certain foods that may irritate the gums, and to stick to a soft diet during the initial stages of recovery. In addition, patients must refrain from smoking and using other tobacco products, and attend follow up appointments with us to monitor progress and address any concerns quickly. Initial discomfort is common, but the long term benefits of the gum graft procedure make the recovery process worth the inconvenience.

Potential Risks and Complications

Gum graft procedures are safe and routine. However, with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications that patients should be aware of. Some possible issues include:

•  Infection: There is a risk of infection at the surgical site, which is controlled with proper aftercare and antibiotics.

•  Swelling and Discomfort: Swelling and discomfort are common in the days following the procedure. Pain medication and following aftercare instructions helps to alleviate discomfort.

•  Graft Failure: In some cases, the graft does not fully integrate with the existing gum tissue, and leads to partial or complete failure. This problem is routinely solved with a second procedure.

•  Bleeding: While minimal bleeding is normal after surgery, excessive bleeding may occur in rare cases. Patients are instructed on how to manage bleeding, and when to seek immediate medical attention.

•  Gum Sensitivity: Some patients experience heightened gum sensitivity during healing. This is usually temporary, but should be reported to us if it persists.

•  Allergic Reaction: It's very rare, but some patients may have an allergic reaction to materials used in the graft. Please share all allergies and sensitivities with our team before the procedure.

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We encourage patients to ask questions about every procedure, and many of them are answered during an evaluation. If you're worried about receding gums, please call the Canatella Dental team at (504) 269-3486 to schedule an appointment today.

Is gum grafting painful?

Gum grafting results in some discomfort immediately after the procedure, and is treated with pain medication. Typically, inflammation only lasts 24 to 48 hours.

How long does it take to recover from gum graft surgery?

An average gum graft procedure produces inflammation for one to two days, the graft attaches in about seven days, and is fully integrated with the gums in four to six weeks.

Are there any alternatives to gum grafting?

The most popular alternative to gum grafting is pinhole grafting where a hole is made in the gumline, and the gums are loosened to stimulate growth.

Another alternative is scaling, which removes plaque and bacteria below the gumline to allow the gums to heal.

In the case of severe periodontal gum disease, a regeneration procedure may be the best course of action.

Can gum grafts fail?

Gum graft failure is rare. However, most failures are corrected by a second procedure.

Schedule Your Gum Grafting Appointment

If you would like to schedule your appointment or have any questions, call (504) 269-3486 today!

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Gum Graft New Orleans | Serving Lakeview, West End, Metairie & Bucktown
Restore your smile with a gum graft at Canatella Dental in New Orleans, LA. Schedule your appointment now at (504) 269-3486!
Canatella Dental, 101 W. Robert E. Lee Blvd, Ste. 305, New Orleans, LA 70124 + (504) 269-3486 + + 5/16/2024 + Associated Words: dentist new orleans +