What is A Gum Graft?

higson dental gum grafting

A gum graft is a dental procedure designed to help people that are dealing with gum recession or to improve their smile by creating a better tooth to gum ratio. A gum graft could be medically necessary if the gums start to pull away from the teeth over time and begin to recede. This recession can expose larger portions of the tooth and eventually the root which can cause greater sensitivity to hot and cold and even pain. At other times a gum graft could be an aesthetic procedure if a person is not content with how their smile looks and feels that it is ‘toothy’ as in too much of the tooth is visible rather than a balance of tooth to gums.

No matter whether a patient is having a gum graft for medical or cosmetic reasons the procedure is the same, a small bit of tissue is taken from a different part of the mouth and then stitched into place to bulk up the gum area around the tooth.

Types of Gum Grafting Procedures

If you are in need of gum graft surgery there are three different types of gum tissue graft procedures that a qualified dentist or periodontist in your area could perform using a patient’s own gum tissue to help improve your gumline once again.

  • Connective-tissue grafts. The most commonly used form of gum graft surgery, this method is designed to help add extra gum tissue to teeth where the roots have been exposed. This type of gum graft is also known as gum flap surgery since a flap of skin is cut at the roof of your mouth and then subepithelial connective tissue (skin tissue) from under the flap, is taken and added to the existing gum tissue surrounding the exposed root by use of surgical stitches. Once the connective tissue is taken the flap on the roof of the mouth is stitched closed again.
  • Free gingival grafts. This type of graft is similar to a connective-tissue graft, but rather than cutting a flap into the roof of the mouth the gum tissue is taken directly from the roof of the mouth. This tissue is then attached to the gum area being treated. Free gingival grafts are more commonly used in the cosmetic space for patients that already have thin gums. This type of gum line filling can enlarge the gum area giving a person’s smile a more balanced look.
  • Pedicle grafts. For patients who happen to have an excess of gum tissue around a tooth but need a particular area repaired this type of gum grafting procedure is a possibility. In this procedure, the existing gum tissue is cut into to create a flap known as a pedicle. This flap is then gently pulled over to cover the exposed root of the tooth and attached with surgical stitches.

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There is another kind of gum grafting procedure that your local dentist could perform as well, an acellular dermal matrix allograft. This procedure uses tissue from an outside donor to cover the exposed gum area and no tissue is taken from the patient.

How Much Does Gum Grafting Cost in Alberta?

If a gum graft procedure is deemed medically necessary most dental insurance companies will cover the cost or at least part of the cost of the procedure. The cost of a gum graft will be determined by how large the area is that needs covering, whether it is one tooth or more that are in need of repair, and what type of graft is being completed.

The cost of gum grafting in Alberta is based on the Alberta dental fee guide and runs somewhere between $600-$1100 per area that is being grafted. It is best to speak with your own family dentist to get an accurate cost breakdown for your specific dental procedure.

Gum Grafting Services Near Grande Prairie, AB

Here at Higson Dental Group, we don’t do gum grafts since they are somewhat specialized procedures typically handled by periodontists. We can assess your need for a gum graft and we do refer to experienced periodontists close by so that you can schedule your gum graft procedure with ease. If you are dealing with tooth sensitivity or have noticed that it appears your gums are receding don’t hesitate to contact our Grande Prairie dental clinic to set up an initial consultation. 780-532-4661

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