Dental implant procedures are complex and several considerations must be made to ensure that they look and function properly. Of chief importance is having adequate bone and periodontal (gum) tissue to support the implant posts. In cases when the latter is lacking, a connective tissue grafting procedure can help restore what has been lost and cover up an exposed tooth’s root. Keep reading to learn more about how it works from the team patients trust for dental implants in Pasadena.
About Connective Tissue Grafting
Research has repeatedly shown that dental implants are most successful when sufficient gingival tissue is present. This is the red part of the gums that creates a seal to keep bacteria from entering beneath the gum line and collecting around the root or dental implant post. Patients who have been missing teeth for a while or who have had severe gum disease (periodontitis) have likely lost this crucial tissue. In the most severe cases, the tooth’s root may be exposed.
A connective tissue graft can help in these cases of significant tissue loss. This can have positive side effects for the longevity of dental implants, and will also affect the way they look. This is a way for your dentist or oral surgeon to replace what has been lost — improving the form and function of the dental implants for a long time to come.
What to Expect from the Procedure
Connective tissue grafting is an oral surgery. Local anesthesia numbs the treatment area to ensure you do not feel anything throughout the procedure. Sedation is often available for patients who need an extra boost of relaxation.
Once you are completely comfortable, the procedure can begin. First, healthy tissue is harvested — usually from the patient’s own mouth, often from the back of the roof of the mouth. The tissue is then placed onto the area where it is lacking. Both areas are closed with sutures and healing begins.
Recovery takes place over the course of one to two weeks. Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide specific instructions after the procedure is complete. Follow these tips to enjoy a comfortable, quick healing process.
Some tips for healing after a connective tissue graft include:
- Take some time to rest and relax on the day of the procedure
- Maintain a soft foods diet until you feel comfortable eating normally once again
- Take any prescribed medicines or antibiotics exactly as directed
- Brush and floss your teeth on the same day of the procedure, being extra careful around the treatment area
If you have been told you need to have a connective tissue graft after dental implants, there’s no reason to worry — it’s just an extra step to ensure you enjoy all the benefits of a sturdy, beautiful tooth replacement!
Meet the Practice
At Sierra Smiles Family, Cosmetic, & Implant Dentistry, a team of doctors offers comprehensive dental care from checkups and cleanings all the way to complete dental implant care. To learn more about connective tissue grafting in Pasadena, you are invited to contact the office at 713-943-2094.