Carlos Boudet, DDS DICOI
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Gingival Grafts (Gum Grafts)

Gingival Graft (Gum Graft)

Free Gingival Graft

In this procedure, gum tissue is moved from one part of the mouth (usually the surface of the roof of the mouth, close to the molars) and placed on the area where it is needed.
The surgery is done after anesthetizing the areas. The recipient site is prepared. Donor tissue is taken and placed on the prepared recipient site. A dressing is usually placed to protect the area during the first week of healing, and no brushing is allowed in the area of the dressing.
Moderate discomfort may be present when the anesthesia wears off. Take the first dose of your pain medication before the numbness goes away. You may need only two Motrin tablets or Tylenol for any discomfort, taken with lots of liquid every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Soreness may persist for up to two weeks. Avoid irritating the surgical sites and eating spicy foods. The dressing will be removed one to two weeks after the surgery but the graft does not heal completely until after several weeks. After the dressing is removed you need to start gently cleaning the teeth in the area of the surgery to promote faster healing. A Q-tip moistened with water or a medicinal mouthrinse such as Listerine or Peridex should be used to rub gently the necks of the teeth to keep the area of the surgery clean until the gums heal enough that you can brush comfortably. The success of this type of graft to increase the amount of hard gum tissue is very high.

Subepithelial Connective Tissue Graft

This type of graft has been replacing the free gingival graft, and for good reasons. The graft is more like periodontal plastic surgery since it blends with the adjacent tissue instead of looking like a patch. Since the tissue is taken internally instead of from the surface,the donor site leaves a small area to heal instead of a large one,so the donor site heals faster and with less discomfort than the free gingival graft. Root coverage is also more predictable with the connective tissue graft.

gum graft before gum graft after


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