Tissue grafting (also called a gum graft or a soft tissue graft) is a procedure that is designed to restore the health and natural appearance of your gum tissues by repairing the damage done by gum recession.
There are autogenous and non-autogenous tissue graft types.
- Autogenous tissue graft means your own tissue is utilized for the grafting procedure.
Autogenous gum graft types are:
- Connective-tissue grafts. This is the most common method used to treat root exposure. During the procedure, a flap of skin is cut at the roof of your mouth (palate) and tissue from under the flap, called subepithelial connective tissue, is removed and then stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. After the connective tissue — the graft — has been removed from under the palatal flap, the flap is stitched back down.
- Free gingival grafts. Similar to a connective-tissue graft, free gingival grafts involve the use of tissue from the roof of the mouth. But instead of making a flap and removing tissue under the top layer of flesh, a small amount of tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth and then attached to the gum area being treated. This method is used most often in people who have thin gums to begin with and need additional tissue to enlarge the gums.
- Pedicle grafts. In this procedure, instead of taking tissue from the palate, it is grafted from gum around or near the tooth needing repair. The flap, called a pedicle, is only partially cut away so that one edge remains attached. The gum is then pulled over or down to cover the exposed root and sewn into place. This procedure can only be done in people who have plenty of gum tissue near the tooth.
- Non-autogenous tissue graft means the tissue is not obtained from the person who is undergoing the graft procedure. There is no second surgical site in the patient’s mouth.
Non-autogenous gum graft type is:
- An acellular dermal matrix (such as Alloderm) graft uses donated medically processed human skin tissue as a source for the graft.
To learn more about specific graft procedures please call 201-840-0045 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leonard Swerdlof.