My Gum Graft Story

Alright so let me start with a introduction. My name is kaitlyn and i am 21 years old.. guess thats all you really need to know lol.Oh and my spellings not the greatest so bare with me if theres some spelling mistakes. Okay so i just got my braces off a few weeks ago after a year and a half, great i know! But my braces caused problems to my teeth. They caused my front gums to receed because of the way you have to brush with them on. So when i got my braces off my dentist said i needed to see a specialist about it... that worried me. And to top it all off i have to see another one about getting my wisdom teeth cut out... but thats another store.. what a fantastic new year it will be for me.. lol anyways. So i got the referral paper for the specialist and i made an appointment, which was last wednesday.

I had to leave work a few hours early to make my appointment. When i arrived it was a super nice building, really high class. My first thought.. this is going to be expensive lol, my second was that its a really nice, warm, loving atmosphere. I filled out the papers they make you fill out and i waited for my name to be called... nervously waited may i add. It was only one tooth (#41) my front left bottom center tooth. This tooth is extreamly senstive and DOES NOT like to be touched. Anyone who has experienced root exposure or painful receeded gums knows the feeling when its touched. So i was nervous that they would have to poke and pry at it, but yet again i was not going to let them lol. When i first started having problems with this tooth, my gum sort of looked infected below my tooth. my gum was all poofy and white and i went to my dentist to see what was up and they took a X-ray, said everything was fine inside and cleaned it and omg, that was a big mistake.. never again. Although it did help a little, even though i was frozen it was still a horrible, horrible feeling that i never want to feel again.

Anyways so back to the specialists office... They called my name and i was greeted by a lovely dental assistant which took me into the x-ray room so he could have a copy of x-rays as well. So i got the x-ray done, she wrote down some of my symptoms and concerns and left insuring me the doc would be in soon. She left by saying im sure ill see you soon for a cleaning, as i am the cleaner. That left me scared, cause as i said above.. i didnt not want that thing touched, nor did i want to pay for it too lol.

So i got moved to a more comfortable room, i mean really comfortable... the chair was like memory foam. Made it a bit better but my palms were still sweating and i was burping alot (something that happens to me when im nervous). I am nervous of the unknown you might say. So it took about 5-10 mins for the doc to come in. He was a really nice, funny guy and made it for comfortable for me. As soon as he came in i wasnt nervous anymore. I told him about the pain and sensitivtiy (which actually has been alot less since my teeh got used to life after braces). I forwarned him about touching it, so he didnt, just looked at them. Did some pressing on my gums but thats pretty much it. He went on to tell me what i didnt want to hear although i pretty much figured he would say...

He told me that i have very thin gums and i will need a gum graft. I have heard of this before cause as soon as my dentist told me i need a specialist i went on the web and did some reasearch and found gum grafting would probably be my situation. So i understand the proceedure and have mixed thoughts about it. So he expained the process to me after he told me i would need a gum graft. He explained it so simple and easy, which was funny to hear because of all the reasearch ive done and youtube vidoes, i know exactly what goes on. He just simply said were going to take a little piece of skin here and slide it under your gums. I said yes, ive done some reasearch on this surgery and i kind of understand whats going to happen. He said OH.. and went on to say.. well its a bit painful lol. Which he didnt not say before... I found that kind of funny. Anyways so after this he told me that how a donor tissue doesnt work too great and i wasnt even interested in taking someone elses skin so of course im going to let you take a piece of mine. After that was worked out, he told me what kind of anesthesia they provided there. To my surprise they did have all 3 (well not to surprising cause it was a fancy looking place). So they have the just needles (freezing) one, the pills and gas (which i have not heard good things about), and the completely out which you have to have a special doctor there to do and monitor your heartt rate.

Now i sat and weighed my options... #1.. was a no go right off the bat.. after reading what ive read about this surgery and the fact that i ALWAYS need way more needles then most people to not feel anything. And the fact that i have watched youtube videos of this surgery and know what goes on. Hell no i do not want to be awake lol. Soo...
#2... hmmm.. gas and some pills.. sounds good enough. Funny how thats all he says and doesnt explain what pills they give you. Well like i said i reasearched this and also read alot on this site about the surgery and the anesthesia. Ive read and heard enough that i didnt want this option either. Why? because i have short term and long term memory loss and the pills they give you are amesia pills. So during the surgery, you are awake, but you basically forget whats happening as its happening. But your still awake, still see and hear and feel (the pressure) of whats going on. So that being said... that was also a no for me.
#3.. being totally out.. sounds pretty good to me. Although being very expensive and never being put under before, i still wanted this option. Expecally since all the horor stories in this site are from people who didnt choose this option. So after all this the dentist took all the papers and me to the front desk for a quote. I shook his hand and wished him a good day and went to the lady at the front desk.

I was there waiting for a quote and talking with the lady (again very warming and nice). Let me say now that i do have insurance that should cover 80% of this and i have plently of money left on there. I also have to get my 2 front teeth done, not just the problematic one because there pretty much the same, just the one hasnt broke threw the gum yet, but it is very close so if left untreated it will look the same as the problematic one soon. Anyways so i paid for the appointment, which was $25, for x-rays and $45 for the appointment itself.. love how they tell me this after lol but only cost me 20%, my insurance covered the 80%. So my quote for the gum graft is $800 per tooth and $880 for the anesthesia i chose. This came to a grand total of $2616 for everything and thats before my insurnace comes in. So im really hoping they do pay the 80%, which would make my grand total be $523. Which is alot more affordable and actually makes me want to get it done.

So here i am now, waiting for the insurnace company to send me there quote and what they will cover before i make my appointment. I also have to ask my dentist what surgery to get first.. this or my wisdom teeth. Im still not totally convinced that i want to do this.. maybe its the recovery time, maybe its just me being nervous. Im 21 and i know its the best to get it done cause if i dont there will be some big problems when i get older. The doctor said it wont make my gums any higher but thicker and stronger. So here i am.. looking for comments, suggestions, stories.. something to help me through this and decide. ill put my whole story on here as things progress, as well as my wisdoms.

So i ask you all? rate your experience between 1-10
Were you happy with the surgery?
What was your recovery time?
What kind of anesthesia did you chose?

Thank you everyone

UPDATE FEB 20, 2013

So i got my quote from my insurance company. If i went through the insurance it would eat up my insurance for the whole year so my father said he would pay for the operation :) Yay!! And even better the parodontist gave me the wrong quote, its going to cost $2,053 not 2600. Thats alot easier to swallow.. i guess for my dad. So i called back and booked my appointment, its for march 25th at 12:00. I think the thing im worried about the most is not eating all day lol. I am the kind of person who if i dont eat in the morning i almost black out and feel so sick.. so im hoping its one of those days that those symtoms dont show up. I have to admit i am a little nervous about being put under cause i have never been before but researching about it helped me. I am actually more likely to die breathing on my own then being under cause i will be constantly monitored. I am taking the week off work since my operation is on a monday. Works pretty good cause that friday is good friday so i am really only taking off 4 days of work. Sucks i guess that its easter but me and my husband have no kids yet so its a good time for me to get this done. And i need it so bad, my tooth is literally rotting away as it is completly exposed. Anyways.. i will update close to the date and then after of course.. i will be in my bed for the week so ill have my computer with me. My hubby is also taking the week off to tend to me :) Yay. ttyl


Appointment is getting closer... only 20 days away now. I am wondering when the secretary will call me to give me instructions (she said she would call closer to the appointment when i called and made the appointment). Anyways i wanted to add a picture of my gums now as i will take pictures of the graft every day after the surgery is done. I want to keep updated so people who are wanting to know about gum grafts, can come here and read my story.

Before the Graft:

Keep in mind the picture is opposite, the bad tooth is on the right. Well thats it for today. Ill post the night before the graft to update.                                               UPDATE: MARCH 25TH... DAY OF GRAFT So I just got my graft done at 12 today. I was nervous before going but since I had the IV I don't remember a thing. So the actuall procedure was fine for me lol. They put me out right away so I didn't have to feel any needles or anything before hand. So I woke up to my husband beside me. Very sleepy at first. Then I was more awake and my eyes wouldn't stop watering. Then I was walked to the recovery room by my husband and just sat it there for about 10 mins. The pero came in and reviewed what went on. He said my tooth was worse then it looked. He said my tooth was close to falling out so he had to graft my bone as well so he put that cement stuff dentists use i guess I had a ice pack I had to hold on my face on the graft area. I drooled so much after too. So after about 10 mins the IV guy came in and made sure I could stand and walk and that I was good to go home So we left. We had 5 prescriptions to fill, shoppers drug mart was across the street so we went there first I was still dizzy so my husband had to help me walk. They were pretty fast filling them I have the mouth wash, tylonal with codine, ibuprofen 600, a steroid for swelling and a pill for infections so its going to be a lot of pills for a bit. So I'm at home now just relaxing. The numbing is almost all gone now. When I got home I ate 2 jars of baby food, yes I stocked up on a lot beforehand. And I took my steroid pill. Need to take another pain killer soon. So far no pain. They put putty over both areas so its a little uncomfortable but I'm actually almost used to it already. After having braces for 2 years and different types of extenders and what not on the roof of my mouth. So yeah so far so good. No pain. Just keeping it easy Not to much bleeding. At times I taste blood but its not bad. I'll come back on tomorrow to update how the night and tomorrow morning goes. Night all. UPDATE: The Next Day So I had my graft yesterday. My night went well, I slept fine and had no bleeding. The medication also isn't hurting my stomach so that's great! The only thing was I woke up this morning at like 6 with some really bad intestinal pains. I thought it was just a bad case of gas but I'm not sure what it was actually. It lasted about 4 hours and it was horrible. It may be cause all the liquid I've been eating. I don't know but I'm feeling better now. Its 10:30. Other then that everything's going fine with the actual graft. I took my advil and infection pill and my.mouth wash already this morning. The pain isn't too bad as long as I keep it easy. They advil is working great so I don't need to take the tylonal with codine, which is nice cause I hate those. So medication left for the day is a steroid pill, 1 more mouth wash after dinner, 2 more infection pill and advil every 6 hours. So yeah I hope the rest of they day is like this. All is good so far and so far I would do it again. Its no buggy just annoying resting and not being able to eat what u want. I've been living off yogurt, baby food, potatoes and boost. Later I'll be going to big als for a few things for our puffer tank and that's all I'll be doing today. Be on tomorrow or later for a update.                                               UPDATE: A WEEK LATER: Well its been a week since my graft. Is it weird that I still have no pain? After reading all the stories of people in horrible pain im sitting here wondering why I am not in any pain. All ive been taking is advil 600 and I didn't even really need those. Im back at work today for the first time since the graft, just taking it easy still in the office, although my father was asking if I can work in the factory. If I did that I would just take my time and work slow cause I still don't want to bug the area. When I start really doing things I can feel a pressure at the donor area. Anyways so the week went really good, me and my husband just stayed in and relaxed. He didn't let me do anything which drove me nuts cause the weather was so nice all I wanted to do was clean and tidy, inside and out. I feel useless when Im not being productive. I had no bleeding from my mouth at all, no pain and I slept fine all week. So over all, gum graft = No problem!. I guess I get used to things being messed in my mouth from having braces, you just have to adapt and suck it up and get used to it. I made a ham for easter Friday and ate that no problem (in tiny pieces) with mashed potatoes and broccoli. The worst thing about the graft is the fact you cant eat what you want. Im dying for a burger!! It felt sooooo good to eat something real and filling. The first thing I think was soft fries I picked into really small pieces. After that I moved onto other things, its just important to take it easy, eat small pieces and chew slowly. The first 4 or 5 days I lived on potatoes, baby food and boost drinks. It really messed with my digestive system and got extremely boring. Anywho that's pretty much my story. I wouldn't worry if u have to get a gum graft, its really no big deal at all. It was really worth it, even tho I might still loose my tooth, atleast ill have thick gum there for my remaining teeth. I go back next Monday for my check up. All packing and stitches are still in so that's good. Graft area looks good.. I think lol its hard to tell. Its gray, pink and white and the donor area just looks nasty. I shall add some pictures next time I am on
kaitlyn1919 kaitlyn1919
18-21, F
2 Responses Dec 3, 2012

Thank you dcoDDS. Well that sucks.. but my appointment is Monday and I have it booked with the anesthesiologist cause he is only in once ever 2-3 months. So I had to wait 2 months for this appointment. The only way I could bring myself to get this done was through general anesthesia because ive watched so many youtube videos of it being done lol. And after 2 years in braces, im sooo done with sitting through people poke and stab me. I am very fortunate because my fathers company is going to pay for it so the extra cost was no problem. However I am going to need my wisdom teeth out soon also and have convinced myself to tough it out for that. Thanks for the words of confidence my surgery is 3 days away and I defiantly needed that :)

Dear Kaityln,You seem like a nice girl and I did enjoy reading your post. One thing you should know: the IV sedation you are going to get uses the same type of medication that is in the oral meds. It is actually more potent. They will likely use Versed. It's a great drug...I use it everyday on my patients. <br />
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Personally I think the oral pills should work for you...Your particular surgery should not be that bad...the worst part is the shots. Once that part is over it's all in your head. I'd consider saving some cash and doing oral sedation only. But if you have the extra cash sitting around then go for the good stuff...Good luck. I'm sure things will turn out fine for you.Dr. P