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  1. #1
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    Anyone have to have gum grafting?

    Recently found out I have significant gum recession. My dentist of 20 years first says he does not recommend the gum grafting surgery as often people have to have it repeated in a few years.

    Without going into the lengthy details of my story, I am very upset with my dentist. He recommends I see a periodontist and now after doing X-rays (which cost me $175.00) is thinking I need gum grafts on 6 of my lower teeth.

    I know the expense will be great as I do not have dental insurance. I am more concerned about the pain, recovery time and possible complications, not to mention the possibility that it might not a success and would have to have the surgery repeated.

    Has anyone has this procedure and care to share stories?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member thejigsup's Avatar
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    I had it done years ago, so I don't know what it is like now. When I had it done, it hurt terribly and I needed a couple of days off from work with some strong painkillers. I never had it redone but I had to get religious about flossing and dental hygeine. I ended up with crowns anyway. I had insurance, so it didn't cost me anything (great dental plan from work!). I wouldn't have a clue as to what it would cost, but yes, it is painful. Nothing compared to childbirth, though.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member metrogirl's Avatar
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    I did have the gum drafting done twice on the same tooth. My gum had receded significantly but only around one tooth. The first graft didn't take so I had to go back for a second one.

    The only thing I disliked about the procedure is they cut from the roof of my mouth to get enough skin to graft onto the gum. I had stitches in my mouth in both areas and had to cover the areas with some kind of putty that tasted bad. The pain was bearable, I don't even think I had to use any pain killers.

    If you don't have dental insurance, try looking into any nearby dental teaching schools or even a free clinic.

    When my kids were little and I didn't have dental insurance for them, I was able to get no cost treatment at USC school of dentistry in Los Angeles. The students are the ones that do the work while a teacher is right there watching.
    I shared my spare on Feb 4th. Ask me about living kidney donation.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member LoveSoDeep's Avatar
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    I did this several years ago, but only for one tooth. i agree with Metrogirl the worst part was the stitches onthe roof of your mouth and a round the graft it's self....actually I only used pain killers the day of the graft. nad yes check into a dental school int he area I bet a periodontist in residency would love to get to do one of these procedures or watch one and it could save big bucks.

    Oh wait actually the wors part is this rinse they prescribed for a couple weeks after that made everything I ate seem to taste slightly different.

    It wasn't a walk in the park...but I'd rather have done that than eventually lose the tooth. It's been over 5 years and I have not had to have it redone.

  5. #5
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    Thanks....

    I have read on some periodontist's websites that tooth loss is extremely rare in cases of gum recession so I'm just not sure it's the way to go.

    Both my own dentist and an online periodontist said that in their 30+ years of experience, they had never seen anyone lose a tooth due to gum loss.

    I can't imagine having it done on 6 teeth. I have been researching the Alloderm graft which uses donor tissue - yuk perhaps - but at least they don't cut the roof of your mouth.

    I have also read some horror stories on line of this surgery leading to nerve problems, delayed healing, etc. It's just scary.

    I'm angry because his former hygienist never said a word about my gums. I went to her for 20 years and figured everything was fine as she just gabbed to me, finished her cleaning, gave me a toothbrush and sent me on my way and I figured if there was a problem, she would let me know. The new hygienist in January pointed it out and I was shocked to see how bad it was. Granted I do not go religiously to the hygienist every 6 months and I was so depressed last year I did not go at all. When I was insured I went every 6 months. But without insurance I went at least every 8-12 months and they never told me it was necessary for me to come every 6 months as my gums were recediing. Had they been professionals and SAID I HAD a PROBLEM, I certainly would have had every 6 month cleanings.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member metrogirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoveSoDeep View Post
    I did this several years ago, but only for one tooth. i agree with Metrogirl the worst part was the stitches onthe roof of your mouth and a round the graft it's self....actually I only used pain killers the day of the graft. nad yes check into a dental school int he area I bet a periodontist in residency would love to get to do one of these procedures or watch one and it could save big bucks.

    Oh wait actually the wors part is this rinse they prescribed for a couple weeks after that made everything I ate seem to taste slightly different.

    It wasn't a walk in the park...but I'd rather have done that than eventually lose the tooth. It's been over 5 years and I have not had to have it redone.
    Ahhh yes I remember that nasty rinse now!
    I shared my spare on Feb 4th. Ask me about living kidney donation.

  7. #7
    Gold Member prettymommy's Avatar
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    You know, my mother, brother, and I have all been told this by dentists over the course of the past 10 years (and in the case of my mother, 20+). Obviously, can be hereditary.

    None of us have done it yet, and none of us have yet to have lost a tooth. I would just get a deep cleaning every 3-5 years. Cost somewhere from $200-500 depending on insurance, but it gets into those "deep pockets" where gunk gets in and can cause gum decay and recession.

    Plus, did he tell you how bad the "pockets" were? I think it's only anything over 5mm or so that is a canidate for grafting.... I've been told I may need it too, though my "pockets" have more or less stayed around 3-4mm over the past several years...

  8. #8
    Gold Member prettymommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thejigsup View Post
    Nothing compared to childbirth, though.
    Ha! Nothing is a as painful as child birth. That's why the memory sticks with you forever (or, at least one of the reasons!)

  9. #9
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    You should do some research on LANAP - Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure. Instead of gum grafting, it uses a laser to help reattach your gums - not sure if this is suitable for you but may pay to look it up? If this procedure is suitable, I think about 98% of patients never have to re-do it again.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettymommy View Post
    You know, my mother, brother, and I have all been told this by dentists over the course of the past 10 years (and in the case of my mother, 20+). Obviously, can be hereditary.

    None of us have done it yet, and none of us have yet to have lost a tooth. I would just get a deep cleaning every 3-5 years. Cost somewhere from $200-500 depending on insurance, but it gets into those "deep pockets" where gunk gets in and can cause gum decay and recession.

    Plus, did he tell you how bad the "pockets" were? I think it's only anything over 5mm or so that is a canidate for grafting.... I've been told I may need it too, though my "pockets" have more or less stayed around 3-4mm over the past several years...
    No mention of pockets by this dentist for the 20 years I've been going to him. No mention of millimeters. This is why I'm angry, EVERYONE I talk to says this measurement happens at their dentist offices. Since I never went to anyone else, I had no one to compare to.

    My recession is on four lower teeth; not right in the middle but the teeth next to it; lower incisor I think it's called and the one next to that. And it's starting on the one next to that. It's BAD - meaning I have a V shaped area where the root is exposed and the gum is recessed. I never pulled my lip down to inspect my gums so I never noticed it.

    I'm afraid if I go to periodontist he is just going to push for the surgery. They want to make $$$, right? If I can live without it, then I don't want to do it.

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