What Is Gum Graft Surgery and Why Would You Need it?

by Sudarsan

Do you have gum disease?

You’re not alone.

According to the CDC, 47.2% of American adults over the age of 30 have some type of periodontal disease. Gum disease isn’t just physically painful, it also takes an emotional toll. Thankfully there’s a simple grafting procedure that can help reverse the damage done from periodontal disease.

If you recently found out that you need to get gum graft surgery, then this article’s for you! This short, but complete guide, will review the ins and outs of what goes into a gum graft procedure.

What type of things can you do to prepare for your surgery? How can you finance the procedure if your insurance doesn’t cover it? Read on to find out the answers to both of these questions, and more.

Why Would You Need Gum Graft Surgery?

First, let’s go over why somebody would need to get gum graft surgery. The procedure is recommended when a patient has a receding gum line that looks problematic. The receding gum line can be caused by a variety of issues, such as gum disease.

What Gums Do

Your gum line is responsible for supporting and holding your teeth in place. Not to mention, pink healthy gums are what complete a beautiful smile. If your gum line is lacking, your teeth will be in danger, and you probably won’t like the way you look. Thankfully, a simple gum graft can solve everything.

By grafting healthy gum over the problem area, your mouth can begin to heal. The result is a stronger gum line and a gorgeous smile. 

Preparing for a Gum Graft

Once you find out you have to get a gum graft, it’s a good idea to begin preparing for the occasion. One way to prepare is by buying the pre-approved foods that you’ll need to eat while you’re recovering.

Typically, your periodontist will request that you stick to a sugar-free diet for at least 2 weeks. By abstaining from sugar, it’ll be easier for the incision site to remain infection-free. Maintaining a sugar-free diet will also help the graft acclimate to its new surroundings.

Make Recovery Safe and Fun

Start looking for foods that you’ll be able to enjoy eating, even though they don’t contain artificial sugar. For example, you could buy some frozen fruit so you could make fruit smoothies when you need a little sugar boost.

The natural sugars from fruit are much better than the artificial sugars you’ll find in junk food. After you get all of the foods you want to eat while you’re recovering, think about your entertainment needs. Add a few shows to your watch list, so that on the day of the procedure you can come home and simply rest and unwind.

Ice Responsibly

Moving on, make sure you have a few different ice pack options on hand. Your periodontist will give you exact directions when it comes to your gum graft recovery. However, it’s common for recovery instructions to include icing the incision area to prevent swelling.

Make sure you follow the rules for how long you leave the ice on, and how long you leave the ice off so that you don’t disrupt the healing process. If you’re unsure about the pre-op or post-op instructions, reach out to your periodontist. Quality offices will also have a site like https://cuttingedgeperiodontist.com/services/gum-graft/, where you can review the procedure in detail.

Gum Graft Before and After

On the day of your gum graft surgery, you’ll arrive at the periodontist office. If you requested to be put under full anesthesia, you’ll have to abstain from eating 12-24 hours before the procedure.

You’ll also need somebody to drive you home from the procedure if you’re going under full anesthesia. However, you can also request that the periodontist use a local anesthetic.

A local anesthetic means that you’ll still be fully awake, but your mouth will be numb. Some periodontists offer nitrous oxide. If you opt for using nitrous oxide, you’ll be somewhat awake, and you still won’t feel anything when the procedure begins.

For nitrous oxide and anesthesia you’ll need someone to drive you home. Whereas if you choose to do a local anesthetic, you’ll be perfectly fine to drive yourself home.

What the Periodontist Will Do

Each gum graft situation will present a different opportunity for the periodontist to take action. However, typically every surgery will involve an incision site. The periodontist will take a piece of your gum from the incision site and place it over the location where the gumline’s receding.

Next, using special stitches and possibly surgery glue, the gum will be held firmly in place. You might have to wear a special retainer while the incision site heals.

Budgeting the Gum Graft Cost

The cost of your surgery will depend on the extent of the damage that the periodontist needs to fix. If it’s a minor gum line recession, you could wind up pain as little as $800. However, if there are multiple areas where the gum line is receding, you could wind up paying thousands of dollars.

Financing Options

Are you wondering how you’ll be able to pay for your gum graft surgery? Don’t worry, there’s a lot of options. For instance, some periodontists are willing to work on a payment plan basis. You’ll simply agree on a down payment amount, and then make installments until you’re fully settled.

Another option is to take out a small loan to help cover the procedure. Whatever you do, don’t let finances delay your surgery. The longer you let the gumline receive, the more expensive things will get. Instead of letting things get worse, take immediate action to finance your surgery.

Feel Good About Your Surgery

Now you know a little bit more about what happens during gum graft surgery. Remember, your periodontist and their team are more than happy to answer all of the questions you might have.

If you’re unsure about what foods you’re allowed to eat while you’re recovering, or what you need to do to prepare for the surgery, reach out. After all, knowledge is the ultimate weapon against pre-surgery jitters. For more fun tips like these, check out the rest of this site.

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