Bone and tissue grafts are sometimes performed as supplemental procedures. Bone grafts are used to increase the amount of bone in a specific area, while tissue grafts are used to correct gum recession. During a bone graft, bone tissue is commonly harvested from another area on your body, such as your hip, tibia, or back of the jaw. During a tissue graft, tissue is often taken from the gums or the roof of your mouth.
Did You Know?
There are different types of bone and tissue grafts. Your periodontist will need to evaluate you in order to determine what type of bone or tissue graft is appropriate for your individual needs and treatment goals.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need a bone or tissue graft?
You may need a bone graft if you are having dental implants placed and don’t have enough bone mass in your jaw to safely support an implant. You may also need a bone graft if bone loss is affecting nearby teeth or your gums.
You may need a tissue graft if you have severe gum recession that has exposed your tooth roots. Since exposed tooth roots can decay easier and are more susceptible to abrasion, a gum graft is often recommended to place new tissue over your tooth roots.
To determine if you need a bone or tissue graft, schedule a consultation with Perio NW today.
What can I expect when having a bone or tissue graft performed at Perio NW?
When having a bone or tissue graft at Perio NW, you can expect to undergo a simple surgical procedure. As such, you will be properly sedated and anesthetized to maintain your comfort. Our office uses conscious sedation, meaning that you will be awake and aware, but very calm. Your mouth will be numb, however, so you will not feel anything. Both procedures are relatively quick and are performed as outpatient procedures in our office.
During a bone graft, a small incision is made in your gums to access the jawbone. Then bone material will be placed in areas of low bone mass. This bone material may be taken from another area on your body, or it may be synthetic bone material produced in a lab. Once the bone material has been placed, the gums will be sutured over the graft. In some cases, dental implants may also be placed in coordination with a bone graft.
In some cases, a special type of bone graft known as a sinus lift may need to be performed. A sinus lift is when the jawbone between the upper teeth and sinus cavity is thickened to prevent dental implants from penetrating through the sinus cavity. The method for a sinus lift is similar to that of a bone graft, only that it occurs just below the sinus cavity.
During a gum tissue grafting procedure, there are three different types of gum grafts that your periodontist may recommend:
- Free gingival graft: your periodontist will first remove some nearby healthy gum tissue or some tissue from the roof of your mouth. This tissue will then be attached to areas where gum recession has occurred. Free gingival grafts are often performed when there is gum tissue, but it is thin.
- Connective tissue graft: a small flap on the roof of your mouth will be opened in order to obtain some of the underlying connective tissue. This connective tissue is then stitched to areas lacking gum tissue. Connective tissue grafts are the most common type of gum graft and are performed when the gums have completely receded.
- Pedicle graft: a flap of tissue is created next to an area of gum recession and then grafted over the area lacking gum tissue. This approach can be used when you have healthy gum tissue surrounding areas of gum recession.
What can I expect after having a bone or tissue graft?
After having a bone or tissue graft, your periodontist will provide you with postoperative instructions to follow. These instructions will vary depending on the type of procedure performed, however they will provide you with information about how to keep your incisions clean, how to manage any pain or swelling, and if any changes need to be made to your oral hygiene routine. They will also contain information specific to your procedure, as well as any special guidelines that need to be followed after that particular procedure.