When it comes to the health and beauty of smiles, some patients may be candidates for tissue grafting procedures. This form of treatment is used to replace the hard or soft tissues of the mouth that have been damaged or similar. There are both medical and cosmetic motivations for a patient to receive a tissue grafting procedure. Our goal is to educate patients on the difference between hard and soft tissue grafts, as well as the reasons they may become necessary. If you find yourself in a position where you require a tissue graft, we will communicate with you each step of the way to ensure your comfort throughout the process.

Soft Tissue Graft

Soft tissue grafts are both medical and cosmetic procedures. Medically speaking, a soft tissue graft is very effective method to repair damage done by gum recession. Gum recession can be caused a variety of ways, but most often it is the result of inadequate dental hygiene practice. Gum recession is a gradual process, making it difficult for the patient to notice; however, when the roots of your teeth become more exposed, they become sensitive to extreme temperatures. The increased exposure also increases your likelihood of disease or infection. Left untreated, recession can lead to loose teeth or even permanent tooth loss. From a cosmetic point of view, some individuals desire a more even or full gum line to enhance the aesthetics of their smile.

In either case, the tissue grafting procedures remain consistent. The doctor will take soft tissue from elsewhere in the mouth, most commonly the palate, and then stitch it to the recipient site. There are several methods by which this can be achieved, and you will be able to talk with us about which is most suitable for your needs. When it comes to healing, your ability to drive after the procedure will depend on whether or not sedatives are administered. You will receive special instructions for your post-operative dental care, and must adhere to a specific diet in order to promote healing. The discomfort you feel post-operatively will depend on how much tissue was removed and how it was done. Fortunately, the gums heal relatively quickly and pain medications keep everything manageable.

Hard Tissue Graft

A hard tissue graft is commonly known as a bone graft. Although it can sound intimidating, a bone graft can offer you very beautiful and natural results if your smile has been damaged. Bone grafts are often recommended for those who have lost teeth and are seeking to restore their smile back to full form and function with dental implants. When a tooth is lost, it catalyzes a process of bone recession in the vacant space created. The longer a tooth replacement is not implemented, the more severe the recession. When a restorative dental implant is to be placed, it is vital that there is enough supporting bone for the artificial root. If there is not, that is when we first graft additional bone into the area.

The amount of bone grafted depends on the preexisting condition of the area; if the tooth is only recently lost, it may only be a minor amount. If it’s been allowed to deteriorate, it may require more attention. As with soft tissue grafting, the doctor will provide instructions to promote healthy healing after your procedure. With proper care and a watchful eye, you will be healed up in no time, and have an absolutely beautiful smile to show for it!

Dr. Jeffrey Ganeles
Periodontist
South Florida Center for Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Boca Raton, FL
New Patients Welcome
www.flsmile.com

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