Gum Grafting

gum grafting gum grafting

Dr. Brien Harvey – Tucson AZ Gum Grafting Periodontist

What is Gum Grafting?

Your gingiva, or gum tissue, is necessary to withstand the stresses of chewing and brushing/flossing. Sometimes, the gum tissue wears away, in a process known as gingival recession. If the recession gets all the way through the gum tissue into the surrounding, weaker oral mucosa, frequently a gum grafting procedure becomes indicated. Depending upon the depth of the recession and whether or not it is an esthetic concern (if the recession shows when you speak or smile), gum grafting can be indicated even if there is still some remaining tough gum tissue.

Gum grating is a delicate, intricate surgical procedure. Most commonly, this entails preparing a little pouch in the tissue at the site of the recession. A small sliver of tissue from the roof of the mouth is then taken and placed within the pouch. Small sutures are then placed, both in the roof of the mouth and at the graft site. We (always) use resorbable (dissolving) sutures, so that you have the option of letting the come out on their own. Every now and then a patient will ask us to remove loose sutures during the postoperative visit.

Dr. Harvey recommends conscious sedation for all periodontal and dental implant surgeries (see "About Conscious Sedation"). Our patients tell us that gingival grafting 'the modern way' is easy and heals quickly. What is the modern way? Well, in addition to the sedation, Dr. Harvey almost always does a procedure known as connective tissue grafting, taking tissue from underneath the surface of the palate, avoiding the large, painful ulceration that used to be unavoidable with grafting 'the old fashioned way.'

How can you avoid the need for a gum graft? Keep your gums healthy. When healthy, gum tissue has a high concentration of collagen. Unfortunately, when plaque is allowed to build up along the gum line or between the teeth, inflammation ("gingivitis") results. One of the first effects of gingivitis is that ALL of the collagen dissolves away, dramatically weakening the gum tissue. So, if you are beginning to develop some recession, keeping the gum line clean will help minimize the tendency for the recession to worsen. It is also important to use a soft or ultra-soft toothbrush.

Please contact our office for a consultation appointment if you are concerned about gingival recession and the possibility of needing a gum graft.

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It has been my honor and privilege to serve my community, and to serve my profession, this last 37+ years.

I am thrilled to share some really exciting news. Following an exhaustive nationwide search and a super positive transition process over last year, Dr. Abhi Patel will be assuming control of the office starting March 1st, 2024. I will be reducing my schedule and will be seeing patients on a part-time basis.

The team and I are thrilled to have Dr. Patel with us and we are looking forward to continuing to
provide exceptional care of our patients. In all of my interactions, Dr. Patel has demonstrated the honesty, integrity and dedication necessary to be an exceptional periodontist. He is extremely competent and caring, and has the passion and skills to deliver high quality, evidence-based care. I trust him to take care of you and I believe he will be a valuable asset to our community.

Dr. Patel is a board-certified Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and Implantology. He is highly trained recognized leader in periodontics and implantology, having been an educator and researcher who has published many articles in international peer-reviewed journals. He was awarded the prestigious “Outstanding Educator Award” by the American Academy of Periodontology for his mentoring and scientific research. He serves as a committee member for the Academy of Osseointegration. Dr. Patel brings a wealth of knowledge and a superior skillset that will assure exceptional outcomes for our patients. Dr. Patel and I, along with our extraordinary team, are looking forward to continuing to provide what you have come to expect from our practice: unparalleled patient service and clinical excellence. The team has been actively involved in the transition process from the beginning, and they are remaining in place. We will all be here to assist Dr. Patel with your care.

I hope you will join me in welcoming Dr. Patel to our practice. Thank you again for your loyalty and confidence over this last (almost) four decades.

Warmest regards,
Dr. Brien Harvey

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