Types of Gingival Grafting Procedures

Gum Diseases

A gum graft may be essential to shield your teeth from the detrimental effects of gum recession. The process in which the tissue that surrounds the teeth gets pulled away from a tooth, thereby exposing a lot of the tooth or its root is known as gum recession. It is a regular dental problem which affects more than 10% of adults, and often gets ignored until it turns serious. The gingival graft is normally taken from the hard palate. It is one of the best ways to treat a receding gum line, prevent root caries, hypersensitivity, and greatly improves the aesthetics of a person. However, there are specific indications for a gingival graft surgery which depends on many factors.


Free Gingival Graft

  • In this procedure a layer of tissue is removed from the hard palate of the patient’s mouth, and is relocated to the site of the receding gums.
  • The graft is then stitched into place which covers and protects the exposed root.
  • The donor site eventually heals without any damage. This type is employed to increase the thickness of gums, and is therefore used in cases where the gum tissue is very thin.

Subepithelial Connective Tissue Graft

  • This periodontal plastic surgery involves taking some tissue from the layer under the healthy gum tissue of the palate, followed by placing it at the site of gum recession.
  • The advantage of this procedure is that there is excellent predictability of root coverage, and the healing process is also quicker.
  • It is relatively painless when compared to free gingival graft. This technique is quite popular for covering exposed roots in case of long tooth syndrome (gum recession in relation with only one tooth).

Acellular Dermal Matrix

  • This method involves using graft donated from medically processed human skin tissue.
  • Although there is no need to take tissue from the hard palate, many periodontists believe that this procedure has a lower success rate. This is because they claim that a relative foreign tissue may not be accepted that easily.
  • However, others believe that the success rate of doing a gingival graft surgery using this graft is same as that of subepithelial connective tissue graft, although the recovery time in the former may be prolonged.

Pedicle Graft/Lateral Pedicle Graft

  • In this procedure, gum tissue is taken from the area adjacent to the damaged gingiva.
  • Over here, the healthy tissue called the pedicle is partially cut, and rotated in its place to cover the damaged and receded region.
  • However, the risk associated with this procedure is that even the donor region may land up with gum recession if the procedure fails.

Coronally or Apically Positioned Flaps

  • In this process, there is no graft that is cut and placed from a different region, and is similar to pedicle graft.
  • However, the gingiva is opened and thoroughly cleaned. It is then either positioned coronally that is towards the crown of the tooth, or apically that is near the root of the tooth. This is done to clean up the region, and prevent the disease from causing any further recession and damage to the gums.
  • However, for this procedure, the thickness and width of gingival tissue present at the base of the recession defect must be adequate.

Some More Information

  • The type of gingival graft procedure done will vary from person to person, depending on the dental health and the type of gum recession present.
  • The gingival graft cost varies greatly and could be anywhere between USD 600 – 1,000 depending on the type of surgery performed, complications involved, and the kind of aftercare required.

In the end, please bear in mind that by taking adequate amount of dental care, and visiting the dentist regularly, one can prevent gum recession to a large extent.


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