A local anesthetic will be used near the affected gum area.
Your periodontist may recommend conscious sedation. You will be awake, but will have no anxiety during the surgery.
Description of Procedure
This surgery is usually done in an outpatient setting. You do not need to stay overnight. If you are undergoing sedation, the periodontist or nurse will place an IV in your arm to deliver medication. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing will be monitored during and after the surgery.
The periodontist will numb the affected area with a local anesthetic delivered through a needle. The periodontist will make a small cut in the roof of your mouth and remove surface and/or connective (under the surface) tissue. This is the donor tissue that will be used for the graft. This area will then be stitched closed.
The new tissue flap will be repositioned on the damaged gum line and stitched into place. A dressing will be applied. A piece of mesh is sometimes placed between the gum and tooth to encourage growth.
If there is not enough donor tissue available on you, tissue from another person or man-made materials may be used.
How Much Will It Hurt?
You may feel mild discomfort while the periodontist numbs the affected areas for surgery, but you will not feel pain during the surgery. Medications can help control pain and anxiety before, during, and after the surgery.
At the Periodontist Office
During your stay, the staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
- Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incision
Healing will take place over the next 4-8 weeks. When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Rest as needed.
Take medications as directed. Over-the-counter medications for pain, like
ibuprofen, may be used.
- Apply ice to your face over the area of surgery for 20 minutes at a time to reduce pain and swelling. Wrap the ice in a towel. Do not place the ice directly on your skin.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat small amounts of soft or pureed foods.
- Do not smoke, rinse your mouth, or use a straw.
- Apply dressings or gauze to the area as directed to absorb blood and saliva.
- Do not exercise for a few days as directed.
- Do not drive if you took any sedative or narcotic pain reliever.
- Be sure to follow your periodontist’s instructions carefully.
- Follow-up with your periodontist or dentist as directed.