St. Louis Gum Grafting
Dr. Scott Schlueter is a specialist in the sophisticated procedure required to provide successful and gentle gum graft surgery. When patients come to Schlueter Periodontics and Implants for a consultation, we help them discover the most appropriate treatment for their unique condition.
Why Would a Patient Need a Gum Tissue Graft?
When recession of the gums “or gingiva” occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. When gum recession is a problem, gum graft surgery is an option.
When there is only minor recession of the gums, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth, so improving you home oral health care may be all that is necessary. Sometimes, when recession reaches the mucosa (movable non pink tissue), the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost. Gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods and can eventually lead to deeper issues like root cavities root gouging and loss of the tooth.
Gum Grafting Surgery
We use free gingival (gum) grafting surgery when there is inadequate attached tissue (pink firm fixed tissue) around a tooth or teeth. A free gingival graft is a very effective way of preventing significant progression of recession causing a bone loss condition.
We use the connective tissue gum graft surgery when there is both inadequate attached tissue (pink firm fixed tissue) around a tooth or teeth and the visible root recession is visually unpleasing or causes cold sensitivity. This procedure can also be used for covering over small cavities that are removed and avoid a dental restoration for that area.
How Long Does It Take To Recover?
Both procedures typically require only a local anesthetic while we release the mucosal tissue away from the tooth. A small, thin piece of attached tissue is removed from the patient’s palate that is inserted into the mucosal released area using absorbable sutures. The in-office procedure is typically short and usually only requires a one week and a four week follow-up visit for us to observe the healing progress of the area. Traditionally, this procedure causes only slight discomfort that is easily managed with ibuprofen.