What is AlloDerm Treatment?
Conventional treatment for receding gums entails a graft procedure in which soft tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth (palate). The problem with this is that it creates a further area of discomfort besides the graft site. AlloDerm treatment allows a dental surgeon to restore your smile without the need for a second surgical site.
AlloDerm comprises donated human skin from tissue banks and is processed to create regenerative tissue that will sustain constant renewal.
Since its introduction in 1994, the AlloDerm Regenerative Tissue Matrix has been widely used in dental surgery and plastic surgery including breast reconstruction. Donor tissue is thoroughly screened and then undergoes proprietary procedures to ensure its safety and effectiveness.
Benefits of an AlloDerm Gum Graft
AlloDerm treatment is highly advanced. Apart from avoiding the pain and potential complications of removing palatal tissue, further benefits of AlloDerm gum grafts include:
- Excellent safety record – approved by the Food and Drug Administration1 (FDA) and complies with the American Association of Tissue Banks2 (AATB) guidelines.
- More predictable results compared with using your own tissue.
- Natural aesthetic appearance.
- Consistent quality of tissue.
- Fast healing.
AlloDerm treatment can also be used for patients lacking sufficient soft tissue in the roof of the mouth to provide graft material.
Problems That AlloDerm Treatment Can Fix
Periodontal disease is a leading cause of receding gums – also known as gingival recession – which occurs when loss of gum tissue exposes tooth roots. Gum recession is prevalent in people aged over 40 but youngsters can develop the condition as well.
When gums recede, their function in protecting tooth roots and helping to hold your teeth in place can be severely impaired.
Receding gums can result in:
- Unsightly appearance.
- Tooth root sensitivity.
- Loss of supporting bone.
- Tooth decay.
- Plaque build-up.
- Risk of further gum recession.
Gum recession develops gradually, and initially, you may not be aware of the problem. The first symptom is generally tooth sensitivity or a tooth appearing to be longer than normal.
Factors leading to gum recession caused by periodontitis include aggressive tooth brushing, inadequate oral hygiene, a poor diet, smoking, and grinding teeth. Receding gums can also be caused by genetics, crooked teeth or tongue or lip piercing.
Left untreated, gum recession can inflict significant damage on the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth, ultimately leading to tooth loss.
While receding gum tissue itself cannot be regrown, AlloDerm can reverse the process of gum recession. The patient’s own cells are incorporated into the AlloDerm graft and start the process of tissue repair and regeneration. This creates your own healthy gum tissue, which functions as normal and looks natural.
How Does AlloDerm Treatment Work?
AlloDerm treatment uses the dermis layer of skin, which contains no DNA. The dermis, which lies beneath the epidermis and above the subcutaneous layer of skin, includes elastic and fibrous tissue that gives the skin its flexibility and strength. The dermis also contains blood vessels, nerve endings, and sebaceous glands3.
AlloDerm treatment promotes tissue renewal by enabling speedy revascularization – which helps to reinstate blood flow – and cell migration, which transforms into host tissue for a strong, natural tissue repair.
AlloDerm enables a dental surgeon to deal with different areas during a single treatment and is not limited by the quantity of tissue available from the roof of the mouth – AlloDerm supplies are readily available.
How Safe is AlloDerm Treatment?
Produced by dental implant company BioHorizons, AlloDerm was initially used to treat burns patients. Since then, it has been shown to be a versatile and safe treatment in many other surgical fields.
AlloDerm uses tissue from donors who have been extensively screened to prevent diseased tissue getting into the system, and cellular components are extracted to further protect the recipient from viral infection.
The donor tissue undergoes a process of rigorous quality control to ensure its structural and biochemical integrity. This process also eliminates any cells that could result in graft failure through tissue rejection by the recipient.
The end product – AlloDerm Regenerative Tissue Matrix – is freeze-dried to protect the tissue without producing ice crystals that could damage it. As well as viral safety checks, both the incoming tissue and end product are screened for bacterial and fungal problems.
Clinical research indicates that AlloDerm for gum grafts is as effective as a patient's own tissue. AlloDerm treatment for gum grafts has been found to provide excellent aesthetic results, and it’s also used to protect sockets after tooth extraction and to add soft tissue around dental implants.
What Can I Expect After AlloDerm Treatment?
As with any surgical procedure, AlloDerm treatment may result in some temporary discomfort, including mild bruising and swelling.
If a dressing is applied to the graft area, it must be kept in place until removal by your dentist. For a couple of weeks after AlloDerm treatment, you should avoid granular foods and using toothpaste.
Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and a special mouth rinse to help protect you from post-surgical infection.
You can expect significant healing within seven days of AlloDerm treatment. Complete recovery may take a few months, depending on the individual and the type of surgery.
The natural healing system of the body will start to send cells to the graft area soon after surgery. During initial healing, the graft may appear white. This is normal, and it should return to a natural color within a few weeks.
Is AlloDerm Treatment Right for You?
The benefits of AlloDerm treatment have made it a popular alternative to regular gum grafts, chiefly in avoiding the need for a second surgical site, in the roof of your mouth.
Apart from spoiling your smile, receding gums can cause multiple health issues including destruction of bone.
If you think your gums have started to recede, see a dentist as soon as possible. If you need a gum graft, a periodontal specialist with experience in the AlloDerm4 process will be able to explain whether the treatment is right for you.