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Video Procedure: What is a connective tissue graft?

This video procedure is available on the Dental Procedure Education System (DPES) of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto

The video was developed by Drs. Jim Lai and Romanita Ghilzon


When a patient develops recession of the gums, it is important to have it examined by a dentist in order for her or him to determine the best treatment options to correct this problem and/or to prevent further recession.

There are different root coverage procedures that can be used in the treatment of recession. One such technique is the placement of a connective tissue graft. In this technique, a section of tissue taken from the palate, which is the roof of the mouth, is used to cover the exposed root where the recession has occurred.

  • Administer adequate local anaesthesia to the surgical site
  • Remove any caries or restorations that may be the cause of the recession
  • Prepare the area where the recession has occurred in order to make room for the graft tissue by cleaning the tooth and area of root recession
  • The graft must be placed on a smooth and plaque-free root surface
  • harvest the connective tissue from the donor site (1-1.5 mm thick section of tissue dissected from an ideal location.
  • Obtain hemostasis of the palate through the use of various materials and/ or by suturing the site.
  • You may cover the graft donor site with a dressing while it heals.
  • Immediately place tissue harvested from the palate is then at the recipient site and secure in the proper position with sutures.
  • Schedule a follow-up a post-operative appointment, no later than 2 weeks after the surgery to check the healing and remove any remaining sutures.
  • Recommended that the patient visit the dentist every two weeks for professional cleaning until healing is complete and he or she is able to resume good home care of the surgically treated area.
  • Advise patient to
    • Avoid brushing and flossing around the surgical site for the first two weeks after the surgery
    • Rinse gently with 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate twice a day for 1-2 minutes.
    • Follow a soft diet for the first 2-3 weeks following the surgery.

 Watch the video 

 Connective Tissue Graft


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