Gum Grafting

Your teeth are held in a strong foundation of both healthy bone and healthy gingiva.

There is usually a thick band of gum tissue (keratinized gingiva) that surrounds your teeth including that little pink triangle of gum tissue between the teeth (papilla). Your gum tissue is a very important part of your blood supply for your jawbone.

The gums and the papilla help prevent food and bacteria from becoming trapped to avoid bone loss and tooth loss.

When the biotype of the gum tissue is thin, it can lead to a host of problems after implant placement:

  • implant show 
  • bacterial trapping (plaque and calculus buildup)
  • food trapping
  • unesthetic margins of the crown
  • bone loss

As part of your clinical exam, Drs. Hullett will assess the biotype of your gum tissue to see if a connective tissue graft is necessary prior to implant placement and rule out moderate to severe periodontitis.The connective tissue graft is typically taken from your own palate and placed into the defective site. Proper at home oral hygiene care will lead to a thicker gum tissue to host an ideally placed implant / crown that will be easy to maintain.

Pre-op Instructions

  • Maintain good oral hygiene
    • Floss with waxed floss
    • Brush with a soft tooth brush 2x daily
    • Swish with 0.12% Chlorohexidine (prescribed) and gently spit, use 2x / daily
    • Cease smoking all together, or at least 1 week prior to surgery

Post – op instructions : Do not disturb or put pressure on the graft site

  • Do not rinse the mouth the day of surgery
  • On the donor site (palate), hold a damp gauze with pressure for 30 minutes
  • Eat soft, cool foods the week of surgery
  • Do not brush the graft for 5 days, salt water rinses and Chlorohexidine rinses to be used instead
  • After 5 days, use an extra soft tooth brush to brush the TEETH around the graft
  • After 2 weeks, you may gently brush around the graft, still using the extra soft tooth brush
  • After 3 weeks, you may gently brush as usual, still using the extra soft tooth brush
  • It is critically important to all surgical procedures to maintain good oral hygiene