What are grafts and why are they used?
Grafts are materials used to replace or restore missing bone or gum tissue.
They can be of two varieties:
- Hard tissue grafts or bone grafts.
- Soft tissue grafts.
What are bone grafts?
A bone graft is used to recreate bone and support the soft tissues lost due to gum disease. It's also called regenerative surgery.
Bone grafting materials commonly used include bits of a patient's own bone, cadaver bone, cow bone and synthetic glasses. The patient's own bone is the best graft material.
Barriers are used to prevent the gums from growing into the bony defect. They are made from human skin, cow skin or synthetic materials.
What are Soft tissue grafts or Root coverage procedures? Why are they used?
Soft tissue grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive gingival recession.
A thin piece of tissue is grafted from the roof of the mouth, or gently moved over from adjacent areas, to provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth.
The gingival graft may be placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root.
During this procedure, the periodontist takes gum tissue from patient's palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even patient's gum line and reduce sensitivity.
A soft tissue graft can reduce further recession and bone loss. In some cases, it can cover exposed roots to protect them from decay.
Soft tissue grafts and other root coverage procedures are a predictable way to cover unsightly, sensitive or exposed root surfaces, to prevent future gum recession and restore healthy gum tissue. This will reduce further bone loss and recession, make the tooth less sensitive, protect the root from root cavities, and look more natural when you smile.