Over the years, we have learned that implants can be more readily maintained in good health if there is an adequate amount of gingiva (gum tissue) in the area where the implant emerges through the gum. The type of gum tissue that is best suited to maintaining good health, and withstanding the effects of food and toothbrushing, is keratinized gingiva. Keratinized gingiva is the dense, pink, firmly attached tissue that normally wraps around our teeth. However, this tissue is often minimal or absent, especially when the teeth in this area have been lost.
Other Reasons for Gingival Grafting
Gingival grafting may also be indicated to help correct cosmetic defects around the implants, particularly when there has been significant loss of tissue in the treatment area before placing implants. This procedure is accomplished by surgically moving gum tissue from some other area of your mouth, most often from the roof of the mouth (palate), or by mobilizing gum tissue from an adjacent area and sliding it to the area where it is needed. New materials from animal sources have recently come into common usage instead of taking your own gum tissue. As always, you should discuss with your dental team which may be best for your particular situation.