Gum recession is a common dental issue that affects many individuals, often leading to sensitivity, aesthetic concerns, and potential dental problems if left untreated. Gum grafting procedures offer effective solutions to reverse gum recession and restore gum tissue to its proper position. Among the various techniques available, three primary types stand out: Connective Tissue, Free Gingival, and Pedicle grafts. Each method has its unique approach and indications, catering to different patient needs and circumstances. In this blog, our team at Cerritos Dental Surgery in Cerritos, CA will walk you through the three procedures.
Connective Tissue Graft
Connective Tissue Graft is the most prevalent and widely used gum grafting procedure for treating gum recession. During this technique, a small flap is created in the roof of the mouth (palate), and tissue is harvested from beneath the flap. This harvested tissue, typically taken from the subepithelial connective tissue layer, is then carefully stitched over the exposed root surfaces where gum recession has occurred. One significant advantage of this type of graft is its ability to address multiple areas of recession during a single procedure. Additionally, the tissue harvested from the palate tends to integrate well with existing gum tissue, promoting healing and minimizing post-operative complications.
Free Gingival Graft
Similar to the Connective Tissue Graft, the Free Gingival Graft involves harvesting tissue from the palate. However, in this procedure, the tissue is obtained directly from the palate’s surface instead of from beneath a flap. This technique is often preferred when thicker tissue is needed to augment the gum’s thickness and resilience in specific areas. This type is particularly suitable for individuals with thin gum tissue or those at risk of further recession. By transplanting thicker tissue, this procedure helps fortify the gumline (just like a bone graft can fortify the mouth after tooth loss), reducing susceptibility to future recession and enhancing the overall stability of the gingiva.
The Pedicle Graft, also known as the Lateral Pedicle Graft, differs from the previous techniques in that it utilizes existing gum tissue adjacent to the recession site. This procedure is ideal for patients who have sufficient gum tissue near the area needing repair. Instead of harvesting tissue from the palate, a flap of gum tissue from a neighboring tooth or area is partially cut and stretched over the exposed root surface. The flap remains attached at one end to maintain blood supply, facilitating quicker healing and integration.
Does Your Smile Need Gum Grafting?
While each technique varies in approach and suitability, they all aim to replenish lost gum tissue, protect exposed roots, and enhance the overall integrity of the periodontium. To schedule a consultation about gum grafting, give us a call at 562-584-4082 today to schedule your visit.