One of the most common results of gum disease, infection, or trauma is gum recession, where the gum tissues supporting the teeth pull away and recede from the teeth. This can be the result of brushing too hard, oral trauma, or just genetics where a patient is born with thin gums and underlying bone. The end result, however, is teeth that appear too long and are much more susceptible to developing cavities and sensitivity. To help with these problems, Dr. Lorenzana can skilfully perform gum grafting in San Antonio, TX, bringing the gum line back to where it should be while also restoring a patient's appearance, so they can once again smile with health and confidence.
The Basics of Gum Grafting
The concept of a tissue graft is to take a small portion of either the patient’s own oral tissue (usually harvested from the roof of the mouth using Dr. Lorenzana's published minimally invasive procedure), or other tissue substitutes, and use them to replace the gum tissue where it has receded. This is usually a minor surgical procedure, performed using local anesthetic with or without in-office conscious sedation. Once the donated tissue has been sutured into place, the patient will experience a short recovery time. While the treatment itself is virtually painless, some swelling and tenderness are common afterward, but this can usually be easily managed with OTC pain-relievers.
Gum Grafting FAQs
We completely understand that you might have questions before committing to a gum graft, which is why Dr. Lorenzana and our team are always happy to share any information you might need. If you want to know more about gum grafting, you can always give us a call. Before that, be sure to read over our responses to some of the most common questions we receive below.
Does a gum graft hurt?
Dr. Lorenzana uses his own minimally invasive technique in order to make the procedure as comfortable as possible (which also helps shorten the recovery time). Local anesthetic is usually enough to help someone not feel anything while in the chair, but for patients who are still nervous about the procedure, our practice can also offer sedation to get rid of any lingering anxiety.
How long does recovery take?
The complete recovery time is about a week on average, but you should be able to resume your normal routine the day after surgery. We recommend taking the day of the procedure off so you can relax, and after that, the initial swelling or tenderness can be easily managed with medication like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Any discomfort tends to go away after about 4 days. To speed up this process, we recommend avoiding any particularly hot or cold beverages.
What will happen if I don’t get a gum graft?
If your dentist has recommended that you get a gum graft, and you delay treatment, then your gums will continue to recede. Not only will this cause your teeth to look unnaturally long, but it will also expose the thinner enamel around the roots of your teeth, raising your risk for sensitivity, cavities, and even tooth loss. The space created in the mouth by gum recession makes it much easier for plaque, food, and bacteria to become trapped between the teeth as well, increasing the likelihood of infections. For your health and appearance, it’s always wise to get a gum graft sooner rather than later.
Will my gum graft be covered by my dental insurance?
Most dental insurance plans provide at least partial coverage for gum grafts, and our practice will accept your plan and file your claim so you’re able to maximize your benefits. If your insurance doesn’t adequately cover your procedure, we also offer low-to-no interest financing that can break up the cost into much smaller installments.