Tissue grafting of the gums involves transplanting healthy gum tissue to areas of the gums that are diseased or receding due to a variety of causes. This process can save your teeth and gums, but it will not spare your wallet in the process. Make sure that you are well aware of all potential costs of the procedure before you move forward to make sure that the overall process is as painless as possible for your budget and your mouth.
Tissue grafting of gums is intended to repair and fortify your teeth and gums against disease and infection. By placing healthy tissue in areas previously either exposed or covered by diseased tissue, your dentist is basically increasing the magnitude of your defenses against dental issues like cavities and tooth decay. This can be done for a single tooth or multiple teeth at once.
Because the mouth is such a sensitive area, this process can be very painful. You will need some type of pain medication following your surgery, even if you do not usually use such items. Also, while you may be able to return to work in just a day or two. However, if your job will not permit you to take mild prescription pain relievers, you will need to plan to take more days off just in case you cannot function normally without the pain relievers.
When you have tissue grafting of the gums, you may have one or more teeth treated. You can also have your gums "contoured" while your tissue grafting is going on. This is a cosmetic procedure that involves improving your smile by altering the shape of your gums but it can be coupled easily with tissue grafting and may even be necessary depending on the location of the grafts. If you do not have the contouring done, then the process can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,000 per tooth. If you include contouring in your surgery, then your cost per tooth will range from $1,200 to $3,000.
If you have serious gum issues and do not repair them, you risk losing some or all of your teeth as well as chronic cavity and decay problems. Over time, your tissue grafting will probably save you money, making it a worthwhile investment. However, if you cannot afford the aftercare involved in the surgery, you may end up hurting yourself as much as helping.
If your dentist has suggested tissue grafting as a solution but does not believe that it is urgent, then consider some other alternatives to strengthening your gums. Going in for an additional cleaning each year or upgrading your in-home tooth cleaning devices could be enough to stall or even prevent the necessity of tissue grafting for your gums. In the long run, the more preventative care you can take of your teeth, the more money--and physical pain--you will save yourself.
While many doctors present tissue grafting as cosmetic option, this is a painful and serious surgery. Unless your gums cause you major embarrassment or your dentist believes that this surgery will seriously improve your oral health, think very carefully before deciding to have tissue grafting on your gums. The recovery time may not be worth the cosmetic improvement if you are only looking for minor changes in your smile.