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Periodontics/Question on donor tissue for graft


Hi Dr. Hormia
Tis Monday I'm scheduled for a gum graft for my upper right eye tooth implant...I had three implants extracted the past two years due to infections caused from bone graft debris that migrated into my maxillary sinus..had that removed in case was so rare other seven implants are fine...been through a rough few years...
So I decided tosee my periodontist for this eye tooth implant because I felt the gum has receded...he agreed to take care of it now because I have no teeth behind it now..
It's not an emergency but he feels it's important since I have this issue and waiting until I think I could handle implants therenagain.
He told me he wants tomuse donor tissue. It's allerderm but it has a different name....I squeamish about a donor doesn't sit right with me..he said my own tissue is too thin and he uses this on most patients..
My question is if this donor tissue leaves the body completely or does itintegrate with mymown tissue and stays forever?!  It just turns me far as surgery from what I have been through it's like filling a tooth...
I never had sedation just novacain ..had a bunch of bone grafts,a sinus lift,ten implants and a few extracted,root canals,extractions,crowned the rest of my mouth ... The worst part was the low grade infection the debris caused ....for a few years..horrid never ends though!  I could probably wait in this surgery but am I hurting myself by waiting.
I'm anxious to hear back from you because I know you have great ratings on here and you care.
Thanks elle

Don't worry about the donor tissue. It is actually just a matrix that has been constructed from tissue. It does not include any skin or cells that could cause a rejection in your gums. It serves as a mold for your new tissues to form, It disappears gradually and does not cause any problems afterwards. It is very commonly used and gives excellent results.

As for sedation: you are not really put to sleep but you get a drug that helps you relax while the surgery is done with local anesthesia (Novocain). You will get a milder or a stronger sedation depending on what is done, how long it takes, and how you feel. Sedation makes dental surgery less unpleasant and easier for you. On the other hand, if you have had that much done (even bone grafts) without sedation, I don't see any whatsoever reason for sedation in this operation, it involves only one implant and the gum around it. Think about it.

One more thing: in my opinion, you should have implants and teeth behind the eye tooth before this regenerative surgery. If this implant is the last one in the dental arch, it will be exposed to wear and forces that might make the new gum tissue disappear again. The other implant teeth behind this one would, to some extent, protect the gum tissue around the eye tooth implant.


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Marketta Hormia, DDS, PhD


I am a periodontist living and working in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, where I have my private dental practice. I am an international member of the American Academy of Periodontology. I have a Ph.D degree and a long background in research and teaching at the University of Helsinki and at the University of Turku, Finland. I function as an adjunct Professor at these Universities. I have also worked as a visiting scientist at the Scripps Clinic and research Foundation, la Jolla, CA. I can answer any question in the fields of dentistry and periodontics.


Private practitioner in Helsinki, Finland over 20 years. Former researcher and teacher at two Finnish Universities.

The Finnish Society of Dentists, Division of Periodontology, American academy of Periodontology

Over 30 scientific research articles published in peer-reviewed international scientific journals (can be found on PubMed)

D.D.S., Ph.D, Specialist in Periodontology. Adjunct Professor.

Awards and Honors
Visiting Scientist at the Scripps Research Foundation, San Diego, California, 1992-1994. NIH grant

Past/Present Clients
Dental patients, national and international. All kinds of dental, oral and temporomandibular joint problems

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