Connective Tissue Gum Graft-not Bad At All BUT DIDN'T WORK FIRST TIME HAD TO DO A SECOND ONE!
I just wanted to share my gum graft experience I had yesterday. I had a connective tissue gum graft on one front tooth. I had the option to be put to sleep but not only chose not to but the doctor also said that my veins weren't very good but I was fine with just sedation, numbing, and nitrous oxide gas. The previous day to that graft I started taking the antibiotic (Erythromycin-400mg) three times a day and will continue those until they are out. I also had to take a sedation pill (Triazolam-0.25mg) an hour before bedtime as well as take the second one with me to my appointment. It makes you quite sleepy and relaxed and woozy. I woke up at 9 am and ate some oatmeal and scrambled eggs and took my antibiotic along with starting my steroid (Methylprednisolone-4 mg pack which starts out with taking 6 pills spread out throughout day one, then five on day two, four on day three, three on day four, two on day five, and one on day six). I didn't have lunch except for an ensure to take my antibiotic and steroid with. I got to the office at 1:10 pm for my appointment and they gave me water to take my other sedation pill after signing consent forms, paying, and receiving post-op instructions. After waiting about 25-30 minutes they took me to the back and started me on the nitrous oxide gas. I was really relaxed and they didn't give me enough gas to put me to sleep just enough to keep me out of it (They kept it on during the whole thing). Then, they put on topical to numb me followed by the numbing shots...not sure how many because I really couldn't feel them plus I was out of it so I didn't count. He didn't say what he was doing as in like step by step during it but in the preliminary appointment he had explained the basics of the procedure so I knew basically what was going on when he was doing it but I didn't feel any pain or really pressure just felt them working on me. Thankfully they had their arms and stuff over my eyes most of the time so I didn't have to see what was going on nor be looking into the bright light I noticed that was above however having their arms over my face/eyes the whole time did make the gas nozzle keep getting pushed up and squished against my nose but it was no big deal. Basically what happened was that they cut the gum on either side of my tooth to make a flap. Then, he cleaned the root really good and took the graft from the upper side (same side as the tooth) pallet (roof of mouth). He inserted and sewed in the graft and then sewed the flap down and made "like a sandwich." I don't know if he sewed up the graft area from the pallet or what but when they were all done they put a putty-like substance over both areas (called a dressing) and turned the gas off but let me breathe fresh oxygen for a few minutes. (The procedure took about an hour and 10 minutes even though it didn't feel that long...it felt like it went really fast). Then, they let me look at it in a mirror (not lifting lip just looking) and then helped me into a wheelchair and out to my car (mom drove). They said get a milkshake on the way home and eat with a spoon (no drinking through a straw) to harden the putty stuff and take a pain pill (Hydrocodone/APAP which is Acetaminophen which is 1-2 pills every 4-6 hrs. as needed for pain) and I mostly slept on and off throughout the day. I have had almost no pain (a little for the few hours after surgery) and minimal swelling so I just put an ice pack on 2-3 times for 10 minutes or so just to make sure. For the first 24 hours you have to eat soft, cold foods (ice cream, yogurt, apple sauce, jello, cottage cheese, etc.) and then you slowly add in foods such as eggs, fish, baked potatoes, pasta, etc. You must avoid biting into things and you should probably eat on the other side of your mouth (the non-surgery side). So that is what I did for the first 24 hours (eating with a spoon-no straws)-pudding, ice cream, fruit smoothies, ensure, yogurt, water, etc. Of course I am continuing the steroid and antibiotics as instructed. I don't need the pain meds so I only took it with the milkshake and then before bed on the first day. Exercise is to be avoided for 4-5 days and resumed slowly. The day after the procedure brush the non-surgical areas and then rinse 2 times daily with 1/2 ounce of the PerioGuard (Chlorhexidine Gluc Sol Hi-T) until you return for your follow-up appointment two weeks later. The dressing (putty-like stuff) has to remain on the sites for 2 weeks and will be removed at the follow up appointment. So, it has been a day and a half since my surgery and I was glad to have some baked beans and mac and cheese for dinner. I feel great and have only a little bit of swelling and slight fevers on and off so nothing major. I am really pleased. My periodontist is Dr. Jeffrey J. Glaser in Plano, TX 75075 and I highly recommend him if you live in the metroplex!!! I would definitely check out periodontists and find a good one before you decide on one!!! My mom checked him out with the he Better Business Bureau and he no complaints unlike some doctors who were closer to where I live who worked with Monarch Dental who had something like 36 complaints in the last 18 months besides some bad things my mom had heard from people she knows. So check your doc out and follow instructions and all things should be good! Good Luck with everything!
UPDATE: IT TURNED OUT THAT THE GRAFT DIDN'T WORK. I COULD HAVE GONE BACK TO DR. GLASER AND NOTHING WAS WRONG WITH HIM OR HOW THEY DID IT BUT MY ORTHODONTIST WANTED ME TO GO TO ANOTHER PERIODONTIST WHO WAS USING A NEW TECHNIQUE ESPECIALLY SINCE THIS WAS A SECOND GO ROUND. WELL, I WAS CONCERNED I WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR IT AGAIN BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY I WOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY AGAIN GOING BACK TO DR. GLASER. WELL, MY NEW PERIODONTIST, DR. MICHAEL MCQUADE (WHO HAS TWO OFFICES: 1422 W. MAIN ST., SUITE 203, LEWISVILLE, TX 75067, WHICH IS THE ONE I WENT TO, OR 3730 N. JOSEY LANE, SUITE 110, CARROLLTON, TX, 75007) AND MY ORTHODONTIST TALKED AND WORKED IT OUT AMONG THEMSELVES THAT I WOULD ONLY HAVE TO PAY $200 FOR THIS GUM GRAFT SINCE IT WAS A SECOND TRY AT THE SAME SITE. WELL, NEEDLESS TO SAY DR. MCQUADE AND HIS STAFF ARE AWESOME AND THIS TIME IT WORKED. ONLY PROBLEM I HAD (AND THIS IS JUST BECAUSE I HAVE DEEP VEINS AND WHAT NOT) THAT IT TOOK 7 TRIES TO GET THE IV IN AND ONCE ASLEEP 6 TRIES TO DRAW SOME BLOOD. THEY DREW BLOOD FOR THEIR NEW TECHNIQUE WHERE THEY TAKE YOUR BLOOD AND SPIN IT IN A CENTRIFUGE REALLY FAST, TAKE OUT THE SEPARATED PLATELETS (LIKE A STICKY SUBSTANCE) AND MIX IT WITH POWDERED PIG OR CADAVER BONE TO CREATE A BASE THEY APPLY UNDER THE TISSUE BEFORE DOING THE GRAFT SO THAT THERE IS SOMETHING THERE FOR THE TISSUE TO GROW IN TO AND HAVE NUTRIENTS (WHICH WAS THE PROBLEM LAST TIME-THE TISSUE DIDN'T ATTACH ON THE OTHER SIDE AND RETREATED BACK). ANYWAY, IT WORKED, HAD NO PAIN, DIDN'T HAVE A PUTTY COVER THIS TIME BUT HAD NO PROBLEMS OR COMPLICATIONS, STILL DID THE SOFT FOOD DIET FOR 2 WEEKS AND GOT THE STITCHES OUT AFTER THE 2 WEEKS. I AM GOING TO DR. MCQUADE AGAIN TO GET MY IMPLANT DONE SO LOOK FOR MY EXPERIENCE ON HERE ABOUT THAT!
P.S. If you are wondering about cost here goes (for my first graft):
I had one tooth done-the connective tissue graft cost $396.00, my insurance covered $276.80 so I paid $119.20. Then, there is a service called infection control fee-III but there was no fee for it and I don't know what that means. Anyway, nitrous oxide cost $19.00 all of which I had to pay for, as well as the non-intravenous sedation which was $22.00. SO, in total the procedure was $437.00 with insurance covering $276.80, leaving me to pay out-of-pocket $160.20. There you go!