Gum Grafting

Before

At Placement

After

This photo is an example of how Alloderm is applied underneath the gums, the gum tissue is pulled down and over to cover the Alloderm and then sutures (stitches) are inserted to allow healing. Note no incisions or cuts on the gum tissue, this is due to the tunneling technique which is performed completely below the gum-line.

Northern Dental Care uses AlloDerm to repair and restore the health of your gums. Gum recession can occur due to many factors including; aggressive tooth brushing, periodontal disease, orthodontics, grinding/clenching, malocclusion or tooth loss, AlloDerm may be a treatment option for you to restore coverage of your exposed root surfaces.

As in other cases where tissue may be removed from other areas in your mouth (such as your palate) to allow for root coverage, with AlloDerm we are able to obtain coverage of the recessed areas without the discomfort of taking the tissue from your own mouth.

AlloDerm is widely used in both medicine and dentistry for plastic and reconstructive surgery. AlloDerm is an acellular dermal matrix and was originally developed to treat burn patients, it is now used in general surgery, orthopedic surgery and urogenital surgery in addition to its applications in dental surgical procedures has been trained by Dr. Edward P. Allen, a renowned American Periodontist who teaches advanced clinical techniques in oral plastic surgery, including minimally invasive surgical techniques for soft tissue grafting with AlloDerm . These minimally invasive surgical techniques allows us to complete gum grafting surgery completely below the gum line (tunnel grafting), usually eliminating the need for external cutting of the gum tissue, thus healing usually occurs quickly and easily.

Tunnel Grafting

A unique procedure practiced by some dentists and periodontists who are able to use a tunneling method that places/tucks the AlloDerm graft membrane “into and under” gum tissue, thereby creating an optimally healthy environment for the growth and regeneration of new or more gum tissue. Commonly used in cases where tooth root covering needs to be increased either in height or thickness.

A tunneling procedure is different from conventional gum grafting procedures because of the lack of incisions made in the gum tissue. Incisions made during conventional gum grafting occasionally have problems with scarring due to healing. As well, tunneling the AlloDerm gum graft maintains the blood supply to the gum tissue which greatly may increase the success rate and provides for a more aesthetic result.

Healing after AlloDerm Gum Grafting

After gum grafting has been completed we will provide you with Tylenol or Advil to take prior to leaving the office, as well you will be asked to apply a ice pack to the area. Both of these have shown to prevent swelling in the post treatment period.

The day before grafting you will start a prescription antibiotic and anti-inflammatory so as to prevent infection and swelling. It is imperative that you take these as they will assist with a smooth healing period.

With most of our patient’s who have had AlloDerm gum grafting treatment, they usually need Tylenol or Advil for 1-3 days and then they discontinue them. Overall, the procedure has been described as one that cause minimal/slight discomfort for few days of the initial healing period.

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