Hi there. I have three questions. I was told by my dentist that I would need to see a specialist eventually for one tooth that has receded too far. She said I would need a skin graft.

1. What type of specialist would I see for this?
2. I read about the procedure and would never let some put a shot
   in the roof of my mouth or take a chunk out of it. Why can
   not use tissue from your cheek? What about synthetic?

The tooth is on the bottom....its an eye tooth.

3. Lastly, I can not have nitrous oxide and I would not be put to sleep...if this can be done using the cheek or synthetic, how long would it take and would I still have to have a shot in my roof of my mouth?

Hi Marcella,

1)The specialist you need to see is a periodontist.
2) Cheek tissue is not used for root coverage procedure. That said, you can use a graft called alloderm (you can google it) instead of connective tissue from the roof of your mouth
3) You do not need nitrous or be put to sleep to have alloderm placed and the length of the procedure depends on the complexity of the case and proficiency of the provider.

Hope this helps.



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John Kong, DDS,


I am a board-certified periodontist and an expert on dental implants. I am currently in private practice at Better Living through Dentistry. I can answer questions related to the treatment of periodontitis (gum disease), dental implants, sinus lifts, bone grafts, gum grafts, surgical exposure of teeth, and minor orthodontics.


I have been practicing periodontics and placing dental implants since 2006 on the Upper West Side, Manhattan, NY and in Forest Hills, Queens, NY at Better Living through Dentistry. I am currently an attending and Chief of Implantology at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

American Board of Periodontology, American Academy of Periodontics, American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association

Wesleyan University / Amherst College, BA; SUNY Stony Brook Dental School, DDS; University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Certificate in Periodontics; New York University, 1-year program in Full-Mouth Reconstruction; Certified in Invisalign

Awards and Honors
Northeast Society of Periodontists Achievement Award

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