What is soft tissue grafting?

Modern periodontics has developed techniques to improve esthetics and enhance gingival (gum) tissues. It is important to realize that gingival recession is always associated with bone loss and that treatment can reverse recession and bone loss.

Tissue recession can be corrected with tissue grafting techniques. These techniques can cover areas where recession has occurred and prevent further recession. Tissue is commonly taken from the palate (autogenous) or donor tissue (Alloderm). No matter the tissue source, the biology of healing is the same. That is, the tissue is resorbed and new tissue generated.

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What do I need to know before a soft tissue grafting appointment?

Appointments are typically made in the morning. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to complete necessary paperwork. Prior to your appointment we will call-in your prescriptions to your pharmacy, analgesic/antibiotic/chlorohexidine gluconate mouth rinse, which can be picked up prior to your appointment. If you wish, a written prescription can be provided.

Periodontal grafting is performed in the office with local anesthesia (you will be profoundly numb, lasting 4-8 hours) but you can drive yourself to and from the office. It is best that you take the rest of the day off, however, some people do return to work immediately following treatment. The procedure is less complex than a tooth extraction or root canal therapy. It is similar to having multiple crown preparations. Sutures will either dissolve or be removed in 7-14 days. Oxyfresh gel is applied, primary ingredient being aloe, to promote healing and act as another level of disinfection. Often a soft periodontal dressing, bubble gum like material is placed on the palate with autogenous grafting to initially protect the area of treatment. Dressing is not necessary when Alloderm is used for treatment.

If you feel nervous or anxious concerning this treatment, conscious sedation (IV and/or oral) can be made available when planned in advance. Please refer to the Anesthesia & Sedation section for specific pre-surgical instructions.