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 on.

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 gum line.

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The 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.

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