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Gum Conditions

Connective Tissue Graft

When the gum has receded beyond the crown and the root is exposed, it is often desirable to cover the root surface. This procedure is performed for both functional and cosmetic reasons and is beneficial in reducing root sensitivity due to gum loss. There may also be a lack of attached (thick, fibrous) gum tissue, and the root coverage surgery is designed to correct that problem at the same time.

What to expect during a connective tissue graft

During a connective tissue graft, the surgeon removes a thin piece of tissue from the roof of the mouth to provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. The graft may be placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root. The graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable, healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth. Your palate will feel similar to how it would if a free gingival graft had been performed. A connective tissue graft can be performed under local anesthesia, local anesthesia with sedation, or general anesthesia. Follow-up care is similar to free gingival grafting.

Questions to ask if you are considering a connective tissue graft:

  • How painful will the roof of my mouth be after surgery?
  • Will the exposed roots be covered?
  • When can I resume a normal diet?
  • What happens if the graft does not “take”?
  • I normally perform daily exercise. When can I resume this activity?

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