Tissue Grafting in Scottsdale & Avondale
Soft Tissue Grafting
There are two types of skin in the mouth. The first is the thin reddish lining of most of the mouth called mucosa. Mucosa contains minor salivary glands which keep the mouth moist, and because it is thin, allows easy movement of the lips, tongue and cheek. The second type of skin in the mouth is called "gingiva". Gingiva is thicker, light pink in color and forms a narrow band around existing teeth and the roof of the mouth. Gingiva is important because it is stronger and can resist the forces resulting from chewing food. It also resists infection around teeth or implants by limiting the ability of bacteria to enter between the tooth or implant and the "skin".
When teeth are lost, gingiva (like bone) shrinks away. If insufficient gingiva is present and dental implants are planned, gingival or "keratinized tissue grafting" may be necessary to insure that there is an adequate band of attached gingiva around the implants like there is around teeth. If there is inadequate gingiva around the implants, there is increased risk of pain, infection, and loss of the implant over time.
The most frequent source of graft material is the roof of the mouth (hard palate). A thin portion of the skin is removed from the hard palate, prepared and then sutured to the area around the implant (or tooth). Initial healing takes place within 10-14 days after which the sutures are removed. This procedure is performed in our office under IV sedation.
“On the night of my procedure, Dr. Guyette called me to see how I was feeling. I thought that was magnificent and it was greatly appreciated! I felt very cared for!” Gordon Stein