At MK Periodontics and Implants, Dr. Karbakhsch and Dr. Katafuchi strive to offer high-quality, minimally invasive gum grafting procedures for patients who are experiencing significant gum recession. This oral health condition, which occurs as a result of gum disease or infection, gradually uncovers more and more of the surface of the tooth until the tooth roots become exposed. When left untreated, this exposure significantly increases the risk that tooth decay, severe periodontal disease, or other health conditions will occur.
What Are the Benefits of Gum Grafting?
The purpose of gum tissue is to provide protection and support for the teeth and their roots. When gum recession occurs, tiny pockets are left between the tooth and gum tissue. These tiny pockets provide the perfect environment for food debris and bacteria to gather, fester, and cause infection.
Gum grafting is an oral surgery procedure that our periodontists use to restore the gum tissue back to a natural position on the tooth. There are many benefits to this procedure, including:
- Reinforcement – a gum graft stabilizes the existing gum tissue to strengthen it around the tooth.
- Prevention – a gum graft protects the gums from worsening recession or future recession.
- Cosmetics – a gum graft improves the aesthetic appearance of one’s smile, specifically when the front of the tooth is affected by gum loss.
- Resilience – a gum graft protects exposed tooth roots and decreases the chances of oral sensitivity.
Our periodontists use several minimally invasive approaches to perform gum grafting, which are all very successful. In fact, when properly taken care of, gum grafts can last close to a lifetime.
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Am I a Candidate for Gum Grafting?
To find out if you are a good candidate for gum grafting surgery, you will need to first meet with one of our periodontists at MK Periodontics and Implants for an initial consultation. During your appointment, your doctor will perform a full examination of your mouth, talk to you about your oral health history, and work with you to develop a treatment plan that will work to solve your gum recession and restore your oral health.
Patients will be considered good candidates for gum grafting if they are:
- Experiencing gum recession
- Experiencing sensitivity or pain caused by gum recession
- Unhappy with the appearance of their smile
- Not taking any medications that could interfere with the procedure
- Willing to commit to the care of their gums after a procedure
If our doctors determine that you are a good candidate for gum grafting, they will fully explain what you can expect from your procedure.
What Can I Expect From Gum Grafting Treatment?
When you choose gum grafting with one of our periodontists, your procedure will take place at our practice in Tacoma or Kirkland. Your comfort is our top priority, so we provide blankets to keep you warm and soothing music to help you relax as you get prepared for your surgery.
Generally speaking, gum grafting is a minor procedure and can be completed using only a local anesthetic. However, sedation options are available to ensure you do not experience any discomfort during your procedure.
After the anesthesia has taken effect, our doctors will use the agreed-upon method of gum grafting for your procedure. Whether they choose to use gum tissue from your own body or from that of a donor, the minimally-invasive approaches used by our doctors will create a new gum line and protect your teeth and gums from further damage.
What Is the Recovery from Gum Grafting Like?
Our periodontists and team will provide you with detailed post-op instructions, which you should follow carefully to ensure your recovery goes smoothly and you are able to enjoy long-lasting results from your gum graft.
Any discomfort you experience will be easily controlled with over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Advil. If you experience minor swelling or bleeding near the treatment sites, be sure to apply ice to the outside of your face and use gauze to control the bleeding.
Dr. Karbakhsch and Dr. Katafuchi recommend that patients rest for the first few days following gum grafting. Be sure to avoid eating foods that are hard, crunchy, spicy, or too hot for several days as well, as your gums will be more sensitive during your initial recovery period. Avoid exercise for several days after surgery, and do not smoke or drink alcohol until our doctors have given you the okay to do so.
Upon your release after your procedure, our doctors will provide you with a special toothbrush and instructions specifically for your oral healthcare during your recovery. Be sure to adhere to these instructions, and do not disturb your treatment areas too soon. Your gums need time to heal properly, and interfering with that process could cause your gum grafts to fail.
After your gums have completely healed, they will look even and natural. Our patients love their new smiles after gum grafting and usually report newfound confidence in their smiles and in the strength of their bite and teeth overall.
What Is the Cost of Gum Grafting?
Because every patient is unique, every treatment plan will also be unique. When you meet with one of our doctors for your initial consultation, they will discuss your individualized treatment plan with you and provide you with a cost estimate for your procedure before you leave.
For your convenience, MK Periodontics and Implants will submit your claim for services to your dental insurance carrier. We accept Visa, MasterCard, debit cards, personal checks, and cash. For those who would prefer to finance their procedure, you can apply for financing through CareCredit or Green Sky. Visit our Insurance and Financial Policy page for more information.
Gum grafting can be a life-changing procedure that can protect you from further bacterial infection and give your smile new life.
If you have dental sensitivity caused by gum recession, or you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, do not hesitate to call our doctors in Tacoma at (253) 752-6336 or Kirkland at (425) 820-2414.