Soft Tissue Grafting 1 - 2 hrs
The healthy gums come up high around the necks of the teeth, and the
root doesn't show. Problems such as poor tooth alignment, brushing patterns,
or periodontal disease can cause your gums to pull back, exposing some
portion of the root surface. This apparent lengthening of the teeth
can really age a person's smile.
In addition to making your teeth appear too long, exposed tooth roots
can also be very temperature sensitive, so hot or cold foods or beverages
can cause discomfort or pain. Left uncorrected, receding gums (the loss
of protective gum tissue) can cause may even more severe problems later
A solution to this problem is a soft tissue graft. A graft can be done
on one tooth, or several. The procedure covers exposed roots, reduces
sensitivity, protects roots from decay and prevents further gum and
bone loss. It also makes your smile more attractive by evening out your
first step in placing a soft tissue graft is to thoroughly numb the
involved areas to ensure your comfort. Then, we remove a small amount
of tissue from your palate (the roof of your mouth), or another donor
site. Though the donor site often heals on its own, it sometimes requires
a suture to close.
At the site of the graft, we will carefully separate your gums from
the teeth. This creates a small flap, giving us access to the area so
we can gently remove any plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the
exposed root. We then place the tissue graft strategically over the
prepared area, and secure it into place with a few tiny sutures.
After the site heals, usually within a few weeks, the grafted tissue
blends in beautifully. The gums have been restored and strengthened,
the root surface is covered and protected, and the tooth now has a much
more natural and pleasing appearance.