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Gum Grafting

Gum GraftingOften times a dentist will address that there is receding of your gums on one or more of your teeth. If this is left ignored it can be quite painful and eventually jeopardize the tooth. Often this can be repaired or prevented from getting worse by a gum graft. Dr. Sabbagh can repair this defect under the comfort of IV anesthesia if you choose. Many insurances cover gum grafting. Our financial coordinator will be glad to work with your insurance to verify coverage.

What is gum recession?

Gum recession can be caused by many factors. Good oral hygiene helps prevent gum or periodontal disease which is a direct cause of gum recession. Poor oral hygiene can leave debris and bacteria between the teeth causing a buildup of organic bacterial products. These form a solid substance which can push the gums away from the roots of the teeth and cause gum recession. Patients with this presentation need a gum graft to repair the damage from the exposed root. Often this recession can leave the tooth vulnerable and the teeth become unsightly. The expression long in the tooth pertains to receding gums where the roots are visible when the patient smiles.

How can gum recession be prevented?

Gum recession can be prevented with good oral hygiene. Flossing and brushing and regular visits to your local family dentist can keep gum disease in check. When flossing is skipped and brushing is done incorrectly receding gums can begin to show up. If you are having sensitivity in your gums or if your gums are bleeding and you are beginning to see the roots below your gum line you may need a deep scaling and root planing and possibly a gum graft.

How are receding gums repaired?

The receding gums are repaired several ways. The surgeon can repair the gums with a gum graft. A graft is the placement of tissue from one area of your mouth or body to the areas where there is a defect, in this case the gum. The graft can be harvested from the roof of your mouth below the surface tissue. This is called a connective tissue graft. Dr. Sabbagh is proficient in the repair of gum recession with connective tissue grafting.

Another type of graft is an alloderm graft. This is a cadaver tissue that is put through a similar process of sterility and is used instead of a donor site. This eliminates the need for an additional surgical site. The alloderm grafts are also being used in conjunction with platelet rich protein which is derived from the patients own cells. The platelet rich protein has been shown to enhance the healing and reparative process.

Dr. Sabbagh serving Auburn,WA, Federal Way, and Tacoma is proficient in connective tissue grafts, alloderm grafts as well as other gum grafting techniques. Dr. Sabbagh often administers IV anesthesia for your comfort during gum grafting procedures. Many dental insurances cover gum grafting procedures. Dr. Sabbagh’s knowledgable financial coordinator will be happy to pre authorize the gum grafting procedure for you. Call for an appointment today if you think you have receding gums or if your dentist told you may need a gum graft.

What can I expect after the Gum graft?

After the gum graft you will be given specific instructions to follow. Dr. Sabbagh will review with you what to eat and what not to eat. Soft foods are preferred. The graft while it is healing is delicate. Care must be taken to avoid trauma to the surgical site. Depending on the size of the graft Dr.Sabbagh may have a surgical stent for you to wear to protect the area. Of course smoking must be avoided during the healing process to maximize the graft healing. Dr. Sabbagh is always available by phone for questions or concerns after hours. You will also be given specific prescriptions to keep you comfortable during the healing process.

How long does it take the gum graft to heal?

Gum grafts usually can take anywhere from four to six weeks to completely heal. During that time it is important that the post operative instructions are followed and and questions or concerns are addressed with Dr. Sabbagh. Afterwards depending on the type of gum graft you receive, there is different degrees of discomfort all handled with the appropriate pain medication which will be prescribed by Dr.Sabbagh.

How will the healed gum graft look and feel?

After the healing process, your ounce receded gum will look healthier and more natural. The root will not show any more and the sensitivity of the root should subside. With the connective tissue graft the reparative process is very successful in reversing the recession in the area. Of course regular visits to your general dentist and good oral hygiene education will help you maintain your new smile.

What can you expect at the consultation for gum grafts?

If you are in the Auburn,WA or Federal Way area and feel you need a gum graft or if your general dentist recommended a gum graft, call Dr. Sabbagh for an appointment. Dr. Sabbagh is in network for many insurances such as Met Life, Cigna, United Concordia, Regence, Delta Dental and Washington Dental Service or WDS. Dr. Sabbagh’s friendly and knowledgeable financial coordinator will gladly inquire about your dental insurance to see if gum grafts are a covered benefit. At the consultation Dr. Sabbagh will review your medical history. Dr. Sabbagh is also a MD and is you may be taking as well as any medical issues you may have. Please do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with her and be detailed in answering all the questions on the medical history form. This information is necessary to provide you with the best customized treatment plan based on your medical and comfort needs. After reviewing your medical history, a through head and neck examination will be performed and your gums will be examined. If needed Dr. Sabbagh may recommend antibiotics or other medication. Once the examination is complete Dr. Sabbagh will review our treatment options and you will be given time to ask questions. Call Dr. Sabbagh today for a consultation. We will make every effort to accommodate your busy schedule.