In the past, in the very humble beginnings of Dentistry and every field in Medicine, treatment was more basic and definitely straightforward. The advances offered by science and technology have taken treatment to certain levels. Today, the scope of the problems that dentists are able to tackle surpasses what past professionals were able to do before. Service is more comprehensive and definitely more effective given the expertise of dental practitioners and the advancements in terms of equipment, tools and instrumentation. This is true for a lot of things, and even for soft tissue grafting.
Grafting is a harvesting technique applied in Dentistry, where tissues taken from a donor or synthetically manufactured are used to replace what had been lost or damaged. In Dentistry, grafting can be bone for bone and for soft tissue; when significant bone or soft tissue is damaged and lost, it could be replaced through an effective grafting procedure.
– Covering exposed roots: Gum disease can lead to root exposure, depending on the severity of the case. Exposed roots exhibit some sensitivity because the outer covering of the roots, the cementum, is not as thick as the enamel tissue that covers the crowns, so greater sensitivity is felt. To protect the roots, proper coverage will have established. Soft tissue grafting can be done with real tissue or synthetic tissue, to establish coverage and gingival arrangement.
– Covering exposed bone: More severe gum disease will involve some bone exposure that can only be resolved by soft tissue grafting. Bone should not be exposed and when there are exposure areas, these areas will require some soft tissue grafting so that sufficient height can be established and the bone can be protected.
– Replacing diseased tissues: There is no point in allowing diseased soft tissue to remain in the mouth. To promote healing and to initiate growth of new tissue, a grafting procedure should be done. First, the disease gums should be incised and eliminated; after which soft tissue grafting should be performed to replace what was removed.
– After a bone grafting procedure: When a patient receives a bone graft because bone quality and quantity is insufficient, the new height established may not be enough for the existing gum tissue, so some soft tissue grafting may be in order. By adding extra soft tissue, you are initiating proper growth and healing, allowing new bone to be covered completely.
– After surgery: Some dental surgical procedures can be quite invasive and may involve complete gum incision. Since bone and other vital structures cannot be left exposed, soft tissue grafting will have to be performed to replace any tissue that had to be incised and removed as part of the surgical procedure.
As already mentioned, grafting material can be harvested from the patient’s own body and when this is done it is usually taken from the palate, where there is sufficient thickness of soft tissue that can be utilized. Another option is to use synthetic tissue. A synthetically manufactured tissue can be used of soft tissue grafting and it may not produce superior results, but it is an acceptable material.