Gingival grafting is a process in which skin from healthy areas of the mouth is literally sewn onto parts of the gums that have receded or rotted away as a result of gingivitis. This process is quite painful and, to be honest, downright gross. However, it can be an effective way to deal with a serious peridontal problem as long as you are adequately prepared for the effects and the cost of the procedure.
Gingival grafts are designed to repair gums. If your gums are pulling away from your teeth, then your teeth have less support and will be more likely to become loose in your mouth. They are also left exposed to harmful elements that cause tooth decay and other dental problems. Gingival grafts repair gum damage in the same way that skin grafts might be used to repair damage from burns.
Because gingival grafting is a somewhat uncertain procedure, the costs are very difficult to estimate. While your mouth is one of the fastest-healing areas of your body, slicing skin off one part and sewing it onto another can be pretty uncertain. The procedure itself costs between £390 and £650 per tooth in most cases, but it can vary greatly depending on what kind of aftercare is required. In some cases, several surgeries are needed to get the grafts to "take."
The healing on gingival grafting can take a fair amount of time. After the surgery is over, you may experience some pretty severe pain for up to a week afterward. Depending on what kind of job you have, pain medication may prevent you from working. Be sure to factor this in when you are considering the surgery. After a week or two, your dentist will be able to determine if the grafts are going to work or whether you are going to need additional surgery. In some cases, you may recover in a few weeks, whereas in others it may take two to three months.
When you are considering gingival grafting, make sure to consult your dentist about alternatives. Sometimes if your situation is not dire, you can delay the treatment indefinitely by taking other measures to strengthen and protect your gums. However, this also means that your insurance company may not consider the surgery to be necessary, in which case you may have to pay out of pocket and undertake the payment of higher premiums due to the surgery.
Gingival grafting can dramatically improve the health of your mouth. Once it is finally over, you will have stronger teeth, which can lower your dentist bills significantly over time. However, you must be very diligent in following all instructions from your oral surgeon following the procedure in order for things to work properly. If you do not care for your teeth during the healing process, then you may end up worse off than you were before.
The best way to avoid paying the high price of gingival grafting is to take really good care of your teeth before there is a problem. Gingival grafting will cost you time and money in a variety of ways, so if your gums are not yet in poor condition or your dentist has advised you to floss more aggressively or do other things to "toughen" your gums, follow directions. The additional three to five minutes spent every night will be well worth avoiding the major pain in the mouth and the wallet that gingival grafting will give you.