Rockwall & Paris, Texas
Gums that have retracted or receded to the point where the roots of the tooth are exposed can cause extreme tooth sensitivity and increase your risk of developing serious dental health issues, due to the root being exposed to external damage. Over time, the root surface may begin to erode and become damaged by bacteria, aggressive brushing and acids and will eventually loosen or break.
The most common reason gums recede is due to untreated gum disease. Other causes of gum recession include:
- Aggressive brushing and/or flossing
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Genetic predisposition
- Earlier orthodontic treatment
- Misaligned teeth
- Use of tobacco products
If you are experiencing gum recession, it is important to schedule an appointment to determine why this is occurring. Once this is identified, a gum grafting procedure may be recommended to restore your gums to a healthy state. Dr. Hodges and Dr Sheppard are well-respected providers of advanced periodontal techniques, having completed considerable advanced education and both are highly experienced in performing gum grafting procedures.
Treatment Planning & Procedure
The first step in correcting receded gums is identifying the underlying cause of the recession. Our office will perform a comprehensive examine to identify the cause, the extent of your gum recession, and which gum grafting option is the optimal treatment for you. Once this examination is complete, we will explain our findings, discuss available treatment options, offer advice on the best path forward, and answer any questions you may have.
To determine if your gum recession is being caused by gum disease, we will use a thin probe to measure the depth of your gum pockets, which are spaces between the gum and tooth that form and deepen due to gum and bone being destroyed. A healthy gum pocket should not be deeper than 4mm. Pockets that are between 4-6mm in depth indicate moderate periodontitis, and pockets deeper than 7mm indicate severe periodontitis. If gum disease has developed and is not corrected, the bacteria and calculus will continue to grow, which in turn will cause your gums to detach and eventually cause the supporting bone to deteriorate.
Once the underlying cause of your gum recession is identified and corrected, your gum grafting procedure can be performed. Prior to performing this procedure, we will administer a local anesthetic to ensure you do not experience any discomfort. We also offer several different dental sedation options, including oral and IV sedation to ensure you are calm and comfortable.
Once you are numbed and comfortable, the gum grafting procedure will begin. Unlike traditional gum grafting techniques, which uses a square of tissue that is taken from the roof of your mouth, Dr. Hodges uses the “tunneling technique”, which involves removing and adding small amounts of tissue from the roof your mouth to the area of recession using micro-instruments. This approach eliminates the need for surface incisions in the gum tissue and heavy anesthesia, is far more comfortable, will ensure a faster healing process, and the end result will look completely natural. Frequently as part of the grafting procedure, we will place biologic modifiers (healing proteins) from your own body with the graft to help optimize the healing and get the best result possible. While the procedure is being performed, we will wear surgical loupes, which are high-powered magnifying lenses that allow us to make very precise incisions.
If possible, instead of taking the tissue from the roof of your mouth, Dr. Hodges will use a dermal matrix product (for example, AlloDerm, Regenerative Tissue Matrix), which is donated tissue that he has been using for gum grafting since 2000. By using donated tissue, your postoperative comfort will be even greater, and you will have a much lower risk of developing any complications. Once the grafting material is placed, we will apply biologic modifiers in the area to help boost the healing process and reduce post-operative discomfort.
Natural Looking Results
Following traditional gum graft surgery, there is often a noticeable white patch that does not match the color of your natural gum tissue. Because the “tunnelling” gum graft approach is minimally invasive, your new gum graft will be a natural pink color and look so natural, most of our patients cannot even tell which teeth were treated and which were not. In addition to restoring the volume of your gum around your teeth and restoring your natural looking smile, you will also experience less sensitivity and avoid developing issues like additional decay, loss of tissue, or bone loss.
Procedural costs associated
Procedural costs will depend primarily on whether additional procedures are necessary and whether sedation is necessary, and if so, what type is used. It is also important to factor in the cost of the initial visit and any follow up appointments that may be necessary.
For patients with insurance, although we are not in-network, we will gladly help prepare and submit your claim to ensure you receive your maximum reimbursement. Payment is due in full on the day of treatment. We accept cash, check, Visa, Discover, Mastercard, and American Express. If concern about the cost of receiving treatment is an issue, please know that we offer our patients Compassionate Finance, which offers a variety of payment solutions with fixed interest rates and manageable monthly payments and CareCredit®, which offers 24-monty payment plans with zero interest, as well as low-interest financing for 24-60 months.