Connective Tissue Graft
To address the challenges caused by receding gums, root exposure and the development of functional and cosmetic issues, the connective tissue graft technique was developed. This procedure has the potential to restore lost tooth-root support by covering areas of recession (root exposure). The cosmetic appearance of your smile is improved when your teeth are returned back to a state of health. Instead of harvesting gum from the outer surface (epithelial tissue) layer of the palate, a connective tissue graft as the name describes, involves harvesting the underlying connective tissue while leaving the overlying epithelial surface intact. This approach has two distinct advantages. Firstly, a connective tissue graft procedure is almost pain free because the surface tissues on the roof of the mouth (palate) are intimately readapted to promote rapid healing with a minimum of post operative sequelae. Connective tissue contain blood vessels, an element absolutely necessary to enable reattachment (reinastomosis) with the adjacent gum tissue. This unique property enables a connective tissue graft to remain vital when placed over an exposed root surface. The original gum tissue flap is then advanced to cover the connective tissue graft and provide a blood supply. This facilitates the reestablishment of the lost gum height. On a cellular level, over time the connective tissue graft forms a new attachment (cementum and functionally orientated periodontal supportive fibres) to restore the lost tooth-root support. Connective tissue graft surgery has the power to turn back the clock to the state that existed prior to your teeth losing their bone support and the gums receding. Histologically, it is the underlying connective tissue that defines the characteristics of the overlying tissue (mucosa and gingivae). This means the overlying epithelial cells will transform to take on the characteristics of the underlying connective tissue. With time both functionally and visually, normal gum is restored. You will benefit not merely from the reestablishment of the lost support to your teeth, but the achievement of a cosmetically pleasing result. The identical form and color match to your gums ensures that the graft blends seamlessly with your adjacent gum tissue. It is often difficult if not impossible to discern where the connective tissue grafts Dr. Novack performed ended and your own – original gum began.