Gum and Bone Grafts
There two different types of dental grafts: gum grafts and bone grafts.
If you have gum disease such as periodontitis and have severe recessions, your dentist may prescribe a gum graft, but don’t panic. Gum surgery is not as bad as it sounds. If the roots of your teeth are exposed due to gum recession, a gum graft surgery will repair the defect and help prevent additional recession and bone loss. Some people opt to have gum surgery to improve the appearance of their smile.
Gum recession is basically a process in which the gum pulls itself away from the tooth, exposing more of the tooth or the tooth’s root. This exposure can cause damage to the tooth’s supporting bone. Gum recession is a common dental problem caused by either brushing too hard, or most often than not, by gum disease. It can go unnoticed if regular dental visits are not in your routine, until it becomes more severe and causes sensitivity and pain. Eventually if gum recession is left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.
Gum graft is usually performed by a periodontist (Gum specialist). The periodontist may take gum tissue from your palate or from another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done to one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line and reduce sensitivity. Sometimes tissue-stimulating proteins are used to encourage your body’s natural ability to grown bone and tissue.
When your jawbone’s density is too low to place a dental implant or it is too soft, a procedure called bone grafting is performed to stimulate bone growth around the area of the graft. Without sufficient bone density, the implant cannot be held in place appropriately. This is needed because the powerful chewing action exerts a great amount of pressure on your bone, and if it can’t support the implant, the surgery will likely fail. The bone graft will create a more solid base for the implant.
Your body has a regular maintenance cycle in which specialized cells in the blood continually enter your tissue to remove damaged cells and replace them with new healthy ones.
The grafting procedure places a framework material in the area where bone is missing, which encourages these specialized cells in the blood to enter the area and start the rebuilding process. Your cells will then over time, remodel the graft material into your own functioning bone. Typically, we need to wait between 6-9 months, for the bone graft to take and grow enough bone to support the implant.