Why You Might Need Gum Grafts With Dental Implants
Dental implants work with your oral tissues in very much the same way that natural teeth do. And because of that, dental implants need all the tissues that natural teeth do, like bone tissue and gum tissue. If there isn't enough gum tissue available, the final look of your dental implants won't be as aesthetic as it should be.
And since gum tissue helps to keep bacteria from invading the inner tissues around teeth and implants, a lack of gum tissue can lead to dental implant failure.
Your dentist may recommend a gum graft along with a dental implant in the following situations.
Your frenulum is pulling at your gum tissue
The frenulum is the piece of tissue under your lips that connects your lips to your gum tissue at the front of your mouth. In some patients, the frenulum is too tight. This causes the frenulum to pull at the gum tissue around the upper and lower central incisors. The gum tissue then recedes.
If you are replacing an incisor with a dental implant and your frenulum has caused gum recession, your frenulum will need to be adjusted to reduce the tightness. Afterwards, your dentist will place a gum graft to ensure that there is enough gum tissue to cover the post of your dental implant.
Gum disease has caused gum recession
If you have suffered from gum disease in the past and you are now recovering, you will likely have some gum recession. Your dentist will ensure that your gum disease is under control and then place gum grafts over the receded areas.
Trauma has caused gum tissue to recede
Sometimes, trauma causes gum recession. For instance, brushing too hard or using a hard toothbrush can damage gum tissue and cause it to recede. After gum graft and implant placement, you'll also need to adjust your brushing technique to avoid causing any further gum recession.
To improve the appearance of implants after placement
Some people have naturally thin gum tissue. This means that on occasion, once an implant has been placed into the jawbone, the post of the dental implant may be visible above or even through the gum line. Placing the crown onto the implant won't help to hide the post. So, your dentist will remove some tissue from another area of your mouth and place it over the thin gum tissue.
If you need a gum graft with your dental implant, don't worry. Gum grafts heal within one to two weeks. You won't need to wait very long before you can show off your new implant with confidence.