MINIMALLY INVASIVE GUM GRAFTING
Gum Recession Treatment - Huntington Beach, CA
You’ve heard the expression “long in the tooth,” meaning getting on in age, and it’s true that nothing ages a face more than gums that have receded. In modern times people don’t have to live with their receding gums and can undergo gum graft surgery to cover the exposed tooth roots.
What Causes Receding Gums?
Gum recession is the exposure of the tooth roots caused by the gum tissue retracting. Gum recession is most commonly caused by:
- Teeth that are out of alignment
- Teeth grinding
- Trauma to the teeth
- Overly aggressive brushing or flossing
- Severe gum disease
The dangers of gum recession
Root surfaces are softer than tooth enamel and so are more prone to erosion and are more sensitive to heat, cold and even sweets. They can get so worn that the teeth loosen or break.
Treatment for thin gums
Gum grafting can also be used to treat gums that are too thin. Thin gums can’t support a tooth properly and will eventually lead to gum recession and bone loss.
Recognized Leaders in Gum Grafting
Dr. Henriod and Dr. Bergman bring to our practice a deep specialization in minimally invasive gum grafting. Dr. Henriod is known throughout the U.S. for his expertise on gum grafting, he is a sought-after lecturer and trainer of dentists on this treatment, as well as a preferred periodontist for dentists to refer patients for gum grafting.
Free Gum Recession Consultation
Start on your road to rejuvenated gums with a free consultation with Beach City Dental. We will evaluate the extent of the gum recession, creating a map of where the gum line has receded.
We also check for other issues that might need to be handled to prevent gum recession from continuing. You will get treatment plan options and advice on the best path to choose for your specific condition.
Traditional gum graft surgery is a lengthy and painful procedure. However, with new advancements, Dr. Henriod and Dr. Bergman can repair your gums with a fast and comfortable minimally invasive procedure known as microsurgery.
Microsurgery uses small instruments with illuminated microscopes. This means small incisions with far less suturing needed and far less discomfort post-treatment. Instead of cutting into the gum, our doctors create a small tunnel in the neck of the tooth in which to insert the gum graft.
Pinhole Surgical Technique
The most recent development in gum grafting for receding gums is the Pinhole Surgical Technique. Dr. Henriod is trained in this new technique. With the pinhole technique, receding gums are treated by shifting the gum tissue over the exposed roots through minute pinholes, and stabilizing the gums in position with collagen. No sutures are required. The entire mouth can be treated in just one visit!
Microsurgical techniques make our gum grafting minimally invasive. We only need to use local anesthesia, although sedation is an option for long appointments and for patients who are anxious. No prescription medicines are needed after treatment, just over-the-counter pain killers for a couple of days, if the patient so chooses.
Minimally invasive also means minimal impact on the body. Conventional gum grafting requires the sacrifice of healthy gum tissue and can lead to further gum loss after healing. There is an additional cosmetic benefit: conventional surgery leaves a white patch which doesn’t blend aesthetically. With our minimally invasive techniques your new gum is naturally pink.
How Gum Grafting works
Treatment varies according to which type of gum grafting is decided upon, but all treatment follows the below basic steps.
With microsurgical gum grafting we can obtain the gum tissue we need the same day as the gum graft. (Traditional gum graft surgery requires a separate visit for tissue collection and a one- to two-week healing period.) In some cases we will use donated gum tissue or synthetic tissue, such as collagen in the Pinhole Surgical Technique.
We use a special surgical microscope to view the inside of your mouth at up to 24 times magnification. This allows our doctors to use small instrumentation and thus they need only make tiny incisions. It also increases the field of vision, providing more accurate and successful surgery.
Generally, we recommend treating the full mouth in two visits of two hours. If only a few teeth are affected, the patient should be in and out in about forty minutes. In certain situations we use plasma-rich growth factors (PRGF) from the patient’s own blood to boost healing.
Post treatment, most people take a couple of doses of over-the-counter pain medication for a day or two. We like to see our patients for three follow-up visits over a period of three to six months.
Gum Graft options
We use four main ways to obtain gum graft material. We decide which to use based on the condition of the patient’s gums and teeth as well as the patient’s own preferences.
Traditional Gum Grafting uses the patient’s own connective tissue from the roof of the mouth. Using the traditional method of gum graft surgery, an incision is made to collect the tissue. The incision has to be covered up with surgical dressing and takes up to two weeks to heal. The procedure can be painful and requires prescription medication. Our doctors will use this procedure on rare occasions when more fibrous tissue is needed.
Using micro surgical techniques, we can harvest the needed tissue from the roof of the mouth using the “trapdoor” method. This is done by making a small incision in the roof of the mouth, which is then sewn up. The incision heals in one to two days and only over-the-counter pain medication is needed, if at all.
In some cases our doctors opt to use donated sterilized human tissue. This is especially useful for patients sensitive to any type of surgery.
Collagen use in the Pinhole technique. Collagen is the main structural protein found in fibrous tissue such as skin, ligaments and bone. It provides elasticity and strength. The Pinhole Technique does not require a tissue graft other than the use of collagen. The patient’s existing gum tissue is repositioned (not cut) to cover the exposed tooth roots and collagen is used to stabilize the gums in their new position.