Many patients have one or more areas of significant gum recession. The cause of these recessions may be genetic due to “thin” gums (thin tissue biotype) and sometimes over-zealous tooth brushing.
These areas are often associated with very thin remaining gum tissue that may be more at risk for further recession. The affected areas may have exposed roots that are very sensitive and may be a cosmetic concern.
Gum grafting is perform with 3 objectives in mind:
To stop the vicious cycle of progressive loss of attachment and the associated underlying bone which is the foundation of the tooth.
Create an environment that is more conducive to health and is more resistant to further tissue breakdown in the future.
Attempt to regain back parts of the tissue initially lost to recession. This cannot always be achieved as it is dependant on the severity of the initial recession. Only obtainable in Miller Class I and II recession defects. In cases of Class III defects only partial coverage is possible up to the level of the adjacent bone. And not obtainable at all in Class IV defects.
In cases where residual root surfaces remain sensitive a "topical" application of root desensitizing age may be utilized to help alleviate any residual root sensitivity. Typically this is performed in multiple appointments around 6 months after the graft surgery.
These procedure are very routine and are typically performed simply with local anesthesia in our office and patient can return to work the next day.
In cases where the patient has dental anxiety, the procedure can be provided under IV sedation for extra comfort. In these cases the patient will need to be accompanied to the appointment with an accompanying adult to take them home after the procedure.