Root Coverage

When there is gum recession, the root of the tooth often shows, can be unsightly, and often sensitive. Periodontal plastic surgery is often needed to restore health, but root coverage may also be desired to improve appearance. This is generally accomplished with a connective tissue graft, which provides new attached gingiva while covering the root surface. These delicate procedures are done with microsurgical instruments that are used in eye surgery. Small instruments means greater patient comfort.

Although gingival recession results in a longer tooth appearance and the gingiva receeding, it really a manifestation of the thin and vuulneable bone volume on the outer aspect of the tooth. Root coverage is primarily done to prevent further recession from occurring. There may also be a lack of attached (hard) gum tissue which can precipitate the condition. Root coverage surgery is designed to correct that problem at the same time.

When there is inadequate hard gum and root coverage is desired, a connective tissue graft is commonly done. This is classified as “autogenous” tissue, which comes directly from the patient and usually from the palatal region. Autogenous tissue has the advantage of its own blood supply and usually results in the most predictable and esthetically desirable outcome/color match.

Alternative applications for root coverage surgery include the use of Alloderm (acelluar dermal matrix- cadaver tissue), and periodontal regeneration approaches which usually involve the use of growth factors with or with bone grafts.

After your examination, we will determine the most predictable solution for your individual needs and concerns. While having several options for a problem is desirable, not every alterative surgical choice and not every clinical situation is amenable to a successful result with every product. We will take a personalized approach to your situation and develop a treatment plan that will help ensure a sustainable outcome.