There are basically three types of gum grafts: free gingival graft, connective tissue graft and the pinhole graft. Each serves a specific purpose in treating gum recession and each has its limitations. Dr. Matheson has extensive knowledge in all of these techniques and will recommend the treatment that is right for you. After working for twenty years in the field, she knows what works and what doesn’t. She is the only Periodontist in Eastern Canada trained in the all three techniques.
The Free Gingival Graft
The Free Gingival Graft is a very good gum graft that is often used in unaesthetic areas of the mouth. It acts to thicken the gum tissue to prevent the progression of recession. It is not typically used to cover the roots of the teeth. When it heals, it is visible to the naked eye, thus we tend to use it in unaesthetic areas of the mouth. It is the least expensive of the gum grafts, takes the least amount of time to do and tends to heal quite uneventfully.
Connective Tissue Graft:
The connective tissue graft acts to thicken the weak gum tissue (number 1 goal) and is often used in aesthetic areas of the mouth as when they heal, they are essentially invisible. As well, they are the gold standard in trying to cover roots of teeth (number two goal).
Covering the roots of teeth is great is aesthetic areas of the mouth where recession may make the gum line uneven and is also important in preventing root decay. The success of root coverage connective tissue grafting is dependent on the extent of the recession present.
Pinhole Gum Graft
Pinhole gum grafting is good for treating several teeth in a row with gum recession. There is very little discomfort afterward as tissue from an animal or human is used to thicken the gum tissue rather than the patient himself / herself. Not everyone is a candidate for this type of gum grafting. Dr. Matheson will guide you when choosing the types of gum grafting that will work best in your mouth!