As the gums recede, they expose sensitive dental roots at the base of your teeth, negatively affecting both the health and appearance your smile. Dr. Keith Kelley can perform a surgical gum graft to protect your teeth, prevent sensitivity, and help you achieve a more symmetrical, aesthetically-pleasing gum line. During the procedure, Dr. Kelley will use tissue harvested from another part of your mouth or donor bank to treat areas where gum recession has occurred. Our team is focused on providing comfortable, individualized care and will plan your custom treatment to help you achieve the best possible results at our Troy, MI, office
Gum recession is caused by a variety of factors. Some are preventable, while others are not. The most common causes include:
Additionally, if one or both of your parents suffer from receding gums, your risk of the condition is increased.
Prior to performing a gum graft, Dr. Kelley will examine the condition of your smile to determine whether a gum graft is necessary. If he detects underlying oral health issues including gum disease and tooth decay, he can treat these in-office prior to performing your gum graft. When planning your procedure, Dr. Kelley will take into account your oral health concerns and overall goals.
Because a gum graft is considered a surgical procedure, our team will do everything possible to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the treatment. In addition to administering a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area, we can provide oral conscious sedation. This medication can help you feel relaxed during your procedure and ease anxiety. Once you are comfortable, Dr. Kelley will carefully excise tissue from the donor site and suture it in place at the deficient areas. Although the length of your procedure will depend on how many areas need to be treated, most gum grafts can be completed in under two hours.
There are many types of grafts. Each is aimed at creating a healthier smile and a more symmetrical gum line. Because the outcomes can be highly cosmetic, a gum graft can help you feel more confident in the appearance of your smile.
There are three popular gum graft techniques. Dr. Kelley will choose which method will work best for you depending on how much gum recession has occurred and your oral health.
A connective-tissue graft is the most common type of gum graft. Using this technique, Dr. Kelley will create an incision on the roof of your mouth to access underlying tissue. Underlying tissue will then be removed and transplanted to the area where gum recession has occurred. Dr. Kelley will then close the remaining flap and treatment site with sutures.
If you have thinning gums, Dr. Kelley may recommend a free gingival graft. The technique is similar to a connective-tissue graft, but Dr. Kelley will use the tissue at the roof of your mouth instead of underlying tissue to cover the exposed roots.
For patients who have plenty of remaining gum tissue and only suffer from recession in a small area, Dr. Kelley may recommend a pedicle graft. During this procedure, he will not use harvested tissue from other parts of your mouth. Instead, he will use gum tissue from a neighboring tooth. After creating a flap in your gums, Dr. Kelley will fold the flap over the exposed tooth root and close the site with sutures.
Alternatively, many dentists are using donor grafts to perform gum augmentation. During this procedure, tissue is used from a donor bank rather than your own mouth. Instead of two surgical sites, there is only one. This can speed up your overall recovery and reduce your discomfort during the procedure.
In addition to relieving discomfort and protecting your tooth roots, a gum graft can help your smile look better by creating a more balanced gum line.
We believe patient information is key to successful treatment. As such, we will provide detailed post-operative instructions following your procedure. To achieve a healthy, successful recovery, it is important that you closely follow our recommendations, such as:
If you notice any signs of infection such as bleeding that will not stop or severe swelling, contact our office. Otherwise, Dr. Kelley will evaluate your progress during your routine follow-up appointments.
Most patients can return to normal activities like work the day after the procedure. During this time, you may experience some tenderness and swelling. These should fade over the next few days.
With proper care, your gums should be fully healed and stabilized within about two weeks after surgery. Because gum recession can compromise your oral health, cause discomfort, and make you feel self-conscious, it is important to maintain healthy gum tissue. To protect your smile for years to come, we recommend that you:
During your appointment, Dr. Kelley can provide a personalized treatment and at-home care plan that helps you enjoy the benefits of your gum graft for many years to come.
If you have noticed that your teeth appear longer or your gums and teeth are more sensitive than usual, call us at (248) 828-3185 or contact us online. In addition to relieving discomfort and protecting your tooth roots, a gum graft can help your smile look better by restoring balance. Dr. Kelley and his team will design your procedure to be as comfortable as possible.
Please use this form to contact us. We will get back to you as soon as possible.