Soft Tissue Grafting

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Soft tissues (gums, mucosa and connective tissues) are living tissues that attach to other soft tissues and bone. Soft tissues heal from their edges at a rate of about 0.1 mm per day. Bone is a hard living tissue that naturally remodels at the rate of 0.7% per day. When we are heatlhy all of the bone cells in the body are replaced every 142 days.

When bone fails to remodel or heal properly then the soft tissues to which it attached may be adversely affected.

A soft tissue graft is a surgical procedure that replaces or enhances soft tissues with material from the patient's own body or from a tissue donor's body or from artificial, synthetic, or natural sources.

The graft not only replaces missing tissues, but may also help your body to regrow its own lost tissue.  Over time all of the cells in the graft will be replaced by your own soft tissue cells because of normal healing processes.

When soft tissue is missing or deficient, it is frequently call a "soft tissue defect."

Some soft tissue defects that may require grafting  or other corrective surgery can include...

  • Defects which occur following tooth extraction
  • Generalized decrease in quantity and quality of denture supporting tissues
  • Defects resulting from cysts or tumor surgery
  • Replace missing or receded gum tissue around natural teeth or implants
  • Cosmetic problems
    • Remove too much tissue from a “gummy smile”
    • “Plump-up” gum tissue in an area that is deficient
  • As part of a multiple surgery process it can be necessary to increase the volume of soft tissues before bone grafting so that the surgical site may be properly closed


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