It’s important to use care when choosing your gum graft surgeon because nothing will have more impact on your gum graft experience and results than your choice of surgeon. As a gum tissue specialist, you want to choose a periodontist as your gum graft surgeon, and when you consider the ways that your surgeon will make a difference in your procedure, you will understand why it’s so important to use care in selecting the right surgeon.
A gum graft is a dental procedure, but what your gum graft surgeon provides is dental care. Care is the medical treatment of one person by another, and surgeons vary widely in how they do this, from good carers who make you feel welcome and valued to poor carers who are judgmental and can make you feel bad for needing the procedure. Then there are the indifferent carers who really couldn’t care less about you as a human being: you’re just another lump of tissue to be operated on.
Your gum graft experience isn’t the only thing that matters, but it can make a big difference in your attitude toward the procedure and how you feel about the results.
There are many different ways to approach your gum graft procedure, and it’s up to your gum graft surgeon to develop a successful treatment plan. They have to assess which type of gum graft procedure will work best for your individual situation. Selecting the wrong surgery type could mean poor results, either in terms of the coverage of your gums, the appearance of your results, or the longevity of your results.
Picking the donor site for your gum graft is crucial. There has to be enough of the right kind of tissue at the donor site to make a good graft. The donor site has to be visually similar to the gum tissue, and shouldn’t include any rugae, the bumps on the top of your mouth, which can make for a poor cosmetic result.
In order to perform a gum graft, your surgeon has to remove tissue from a donor site, and the wound at the donor site determines how much discomfort you experience and how quickly that donor site heals. Your surgeon controls how that donor site is handled—a surgeon with a deft touch can make a much cleaner removal, resulting in less discomfort and faster healing.
A gum graft has to be integrated successfully into the recipient site. There are several different ways this can be done, and your gum graft surgeon will likely have one or a few that they use. Hopefully, they’re good at this, because if the gum graft doesn’t successfully integrate, it will die, either fully or partly. Their handling of the graft material itself also has a big impact on the integration.
We’ve already noted that how your surgeon treats the donor site determines how well it heals. The same is true at the recipient site. If a graft is well integrated, you can have a shorter recovery time from your gum graft procedure.
Finally, all of the surgical differences add up to this: your gum graft surgeon is the biggest determiner of whether you will get good results from your gum graft or poor ones. Proper selection of the graft, handling of the graft, good integration, and attention to aesthetics at every step of the way can give you a much more attractive result than a gum graft surgeon who is less trained (especially one that isn’t a periodontist), less experienced, and less careful.