Gum Grafting Schaumburg, IL


Teeth which have developed angular notches, or “abfractions” at the gum line can be sensitive and collect plaque. Those with narrow or thin keratinized tissue over the bone and root are at risk of developing gingival recession. In teeth where gingival recession has already occurred, a connective tissue graft may be among the treatment options. The tough, keratinized tissue from the patient’s own palate is an excellent source for graft tissue because of its durability; and the fact that it already contains the patient’s own blood vessels and living cells.

Harvesting the graft typically requires two parallel incisions to be made, and removal of the appropriate quantity of tissue. The palatal incision is closed with sutures, which may dissolve on their own, or be removed by the dentist. Often, the incision will be protected with a thin, removable vinyl tray, worn over the teeth to protect and anchor the graft. The graft tissue is properly contoured to fit the host site. To accommodate the graft tissue, the gingiva over the area to be treated are elevated slightly from the exposed root and tooth supporting bone. The root surface will be cleaned, and may be conditioned with etchants and locally applied antibiotics to prepare it for adhesion of the graft tissue. The graft is tucked into position, and retained with sutures.

Over a period of weeks, the graft will integrate with the host tissue, and completely remodel to proper contour. Even if complete root coverage is not achieved, a more durable zone of attached tissue usually results.

A bite adjustment may be needed following connective tissue grafting, to reduce any off-axis tipping forces on the tooth, which may have led to the need for treatment. Because of the way teeth are oriented in the dental arches, biting may introduce tipping forces. This can lead to abfractions and gum recession. A minor adjustment to the non-sensitive enamel layer of the tooth can properly align biting forces, and eliminate tipping and abfractions. This increases the likelihood of success with the graft.
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