If you can see the roots of your tooth, you’ve likely experienced gum recession. The condition can make your tooth look longer than its neighbors, creating an uneven and unsightly appearance. Most Kentucky patients who want gum recession treatment are looking for cosmetic improvement, but there’s another important factor to consider.

When your gums recede, it means you’ve also lost some of the bone that keeps your tooth in place. Gum recession treatment covers up the exposed roots to protect you from further bone erosion and from the risk of losing the entire tooth. Getting a more attractive and confident smile? That’s just another great reason to see Dr. Clagett.

Our Approach to Your Care

Dr. Clagett uses gum grafting to restore areas of recession. Essentially, this means that he covers the site where the gums have withdrawn from the tooth using graft material.

Gum recession treatment is extremely common and has very predictable outcomes. New technology and techniques make the process comfortable for patients, even more than it was in years past.

Kentucky patients also benefit from Dr. Clagett’s skillset as a board-certified periodontist: a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of gum-related conditions. Beyond his formal training and years in practice, he is the inventor of the SAMRI (“samurai”) technique, a novel approach to gum grafting. The technique decreases surgical time by at least 50% and is more comfortable and less invasive for patients.

What to Expect in Your Consultation

While great credentials and extensive experience are important for getting high-quality care, you also want to work with a practice that makes you feel welcome, supported, and informed about your options. That’s the type of treatment Dr. Clagett provides.

Come for a visit, and our team will show you around the office, give you a chance to meet the staff, and talk with you about the technology we use. You’ll also have plenty of time to speak with Dr. Clagett about what you want to accomplish in our care.

As part of gum recession treatment, Dr. Clagett will review your teeth and bite to get an idea of what might be causing the condition:

  • If you have recession around a single tooth, the cause may be the alignment of your teeth. Some Kentucky patients will benefit from orthodontics, which can prevent future wear on the gums.
  • If you have recession around multiple teeth at the same time, it’s a sign that you are more susceptible to gum disease. Dr. Clagett may talk with you about the causes of gum disease, suggest more frequent dental cleanings, and recommend other ways to protect your teeth.

After Dr. Clagett’s examination, you’ll have the chance to discuss your options for gum recession treatment, learn what it’s like to get a gum graft and talk about the related costs. We want your choice to be based on the information and we will never pressure you into making a decision.

How Gum Recession Treatment Works

On the day of your procedure, Dr. Clagett will:

  • Gently numb the area around your tooth. Numbing is limited enough that you can expect to regain sensation soon after the appointment.
  • Place a graft in the area of recession. The graft will thicken the site, make it more resistant to recession in the future, keep the underlying bone from deteriorating, and help prevent tooth loss.
  • Uses tiny stitches to hold the graft in place. He will remove these stitches in a follow-up appointment about one month later.

Gum recession treatment usually takes 15-45 minutes, and aftercare for most of our Kentucky patients is minimal. Dr. Clagett will provide some medication to manage any discomfort you may have — it’s usually equivalent to Advil® — and our staff will recommend ways to keep the surgical site healthy. This may include taking it easy for a few days and avoiding chewing on the side where you had the procedure.

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The SAMRI Technique

Dr. Clagett developed the SAMRI technique in his search for a less invasive and gentler approach to gum recession treatment. It is actually a hybrid of several different and well-established surgical approaches that he had been performing for years.

Dr. Clagett first published about the SAMRI technique in the professional research journal, Clinical Advances in Periodontology. SAMRI helps limit post-operative issues such as swelling and can improve the recovery experience, and many of our Kentucky patients have benefited from the technique.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Clagett can talk with you about the approach he recommends for gum grafting. If you are a good candidate for SAMRI, he can explain in detail how it works and answer any questions you may have.

Common Questions About Gum Recession Treatment

  • Will you need to take a graft from my mouth to use in the area of recession?

    Dr. Clagett rarely takes grafts from a patient’s mouth. Harvesting tissue from one area and moving it to another creates two sites that have to heal. It’s much more comfortable for patients when he is able to use donor graft material. This material, which comes from an accredited tissue bank, is safe, makes treatment faster, and is replaced by your own tissue over time.

  • Does gum recession treatment hurt?

    Most of our Kentucky patients are pleasantly surprised at how quick and simple it is to get a gum graft. Some have told us that it was easier than a getting a filling. Dr. Clagett numbs the area so that you shouldn’t feel pain during the procedure, and he can treat one or multiple teeth in the same session. Most people don’t have to take off work and can return to normal daily activities that don’t require physical exertion.

  • Does the graft look natural?

    Your surgical site should look completely natural after you’ve fully healed. In the majority of cases, Dr. Clagett has to work from memory or from his records to know where he placed a graft since the gum line flows so seamlessly afterward.

Nervous about having surgery or just don’t want to remember any of it? We offer IV sedation for our patients. IV sedation is a safe, easy way to let you get the dental work you need while you sleep. Dr. Clagett has received extensive training on IV sedation, and we have the most up to date technology to ensure your health. For more complex medical cases, we also partner with a Certified Nurse Anesthetist, to help Dr. Clagett maintain your health while he performs your dental work.

If you’d like a more cosmetically appealing smile and want to protect your teeth from bone loss, schedule an appointment to talk about gum recession treatment. Call our local Kentucky office at (270) 982-7377 or contact us online.