When a person is unhappy with the shortness of his or her teeth or the how much gum shows while smiling, gum contouring is a relatively easy surgical solution. But what about the opposite: teeth that look too long due to receding gums?
Traditionally, this problem has been address with gum grafting, which involves excising tissue from the roof of the mouth and using it to replace lost gum tissue. However, this procedure often comes with a painful recovery period-mostly because of the palate-so periodontal researchers at Tufts University sought to prove the effectiveness of a less invasive alternative.
Instead of using donor tissue from a person’s palate, this new regeneration technique uses a collagen membrane as the graft, which is soaked in the patient’s platelets from blood that has been drawn the same day, and then surgically secured over the tooth root. The researchers found that, after three years, the results were comparable to that of traditional gum grafting, and the cosmetic outcome is superior.
“Patients have a less invasive treatment option for receding gums, and we now have evidence to support the stability of this relatively painless procedure. Instead of leaving the dental office with stitches in the roof of their mouth, a patient leaves with a small bandage on the arm that can be removed in an hour,” said associate professor, department chair and researcher Terrence Griffin, DMD, in the July 2009 issue of the Journal of Periodontology. He goes on to say that while the procedure is a bit more expensive for the patient and a bit more complicated for the doctor, “this treatment for gum recession results in proper coverage of the tooth root, better aesthetics than those found with traditional gum grafting surgery, and enhanced patient satisfaction with the results.”
Find a Doctor
Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you