The importance of your teeth cannot be overstated. After all, you only get one set of adult teeth, and if you lose them, they are gone forever. Luckily, there are options if you do lose your teeth, but preferably, you really don’t want to.
The Century Dental family offers the best local dentists that specialize in general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry. Located in the Jersey Shore area, our two locations — Seaview Dental in Eatontown and Century Dental in Jackson — are conveniently located to provide you with top-notch dental treatments, from root canals to porcelain veneers. Our dentists have an unwavering commitment to our patients to help them keep their teeth healthy for life. In this blog post, we’ll explain what a dental skin graft is. Contact us today for your next dental exam!
WHAT IS A DENTAL SKIN GRAFT?
A dental skin graft is a minimally-invasive surgery that helps with receding gums. Gum recession is where the tissue in your mouth pulls away from a tooth or from teeth, exposing the tooth’s root. Over time, gum recession can worsen, and it exposes the sensitive part of your tooth to harmful bacteria, which can cause an infection. Sometimes, your local dentist, such as Century Dental, will recommend a skin graft to fix the problem.
THREE TYPES OF SKIN GRAFTS
- Connective tissue skin grafts. The most popular of the skin grafts used to treat receding gums, connective tissue grafts a small incision is made and tissue below the skin is removed from the roof of your mouth (or your palate) and then stitches it to the problem area around your teeth. This is a simple procedure that usually takes less than an hour and is normally quite successful.
- Free gingival skin grafts. Free gingival grafts use tissue directly from the roof of your mouth without cutting a skin flap and removing lower tissue. This tissue is then attached to the treatment area in the same manner as before.
- Pedicle skin grafts. This skin graft is usually done in younger people who have plenty of gum tissue to work with. In this case, tissue is taken from the surrounding area of the problem tooth and then grafted to the problem area. A flap, called a pedicle, is usually pulled over to cover the root and then stitched into place.
Century Dental in Jersey Shore notes that which type of skin graft used by your local dentist will depend on your particular situation. All with the proper care have a very good chance of working. There are many benefits to dental skin grafts:
- Can restore the natural appearance of your teeth
- Will strengthen and stabilize the gum covering the problem area
- Protects the tooth or teeth from further recession
- Protects the tooth or teeth from infection that could result in tooth loss
- Decreases gum sensitivity
AFTERCARE OF A DENTAL SKIN GRAFT
A dental skin graft is usually performed by a periodontist who specializes in diagnosing gum disease and in its prevention and treatment. Recovery from a dental skin graft, while not complicated, does need to be followed in order to ensure the best chance for success. Your periodontist will likely recommend the following for your aftercare of a dental skin graft:
- Avoid brushing around and including the treatment area site
- Use salt water to help with cleaning
- Avoid exercise
- Eat foods that are easy to swallow, such as yogurt, soup, ice cream, and cheese
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t drink alcohol, which can affect the stitches
- Avoid eating on that side of your mouth
- Don’t drink from a straw
- Follow up appointment to ensure recovery and success
- Can take over the counter pain medications
- May prescribe a painkiller if needed
HOW CENTURY DENTAL CAN HELP WITH YOUR RECEDING GUMS
Our periodontists at the Century Dental family love helping patients restore their smiles with restorative dentistry. We offer not only dental skin grafts, but also dental implants, dentures, tooth crowns, and porcelain veneers. In addition to our restorative dentistry, we also offer cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry. From teeth whitening services to preventative exams, our dental care has got you covered. Call today to schedule your next dental treatment!