Healthy gum tissue protects your teeth from disease and sensitivity, and helps produce a great smile. When you experience loss of gum tissue around your teeth it can be the beginning of serious oral health problems. Fortunately, your doctor can perform a predictable treatment for reversing this tissue loss. In the past this procedure required that a piece of tissue be harvested from the roof of your mouth to serve as the graft material. Unfortunately, not everyone has enough tissue available or wants to have tissue taken from this sensitive area.
Now, however, you have a choice: AlloDerm.
Every patient is different and patient results may vary. Only a trained clinician can determine the best treatment plan for you. Please ask your doctor to explain the benefits and risks to see if AlloDerm is right for you.
AlloDerm allows your doctor to give you the tissue graft you need without the limitations associated with harvesting the graft material from somewhere else in your mouth.
AlloDerm provides the missing components needed to restore health to damaged or receding tissue. It leads to fast healing and delivers great cosmetic results. Thousands of doctors and patients have made it their choice for root coverage and other grafting procedures.
Inside are answers to some common questions patients ask about AlloDerm. Your doctor can explain any other questions you may have in greater detail. Read on to learn more.
Aggressive tooth brushing and periodontal (gum) disease are two leading reasons that roots become exposed. Exposed roots may be sensitive to temperature change, are more vulnerable to decay, and are associated with loss of supporting bone.
Exposed roots can make your teeth look unnaturally long, robbing you of your beautiful smile.
AlloDerm is donated human tissue that has been processed to remove all cells, leaving behind a regenerative collagen matrix. Once the cells have been removed, the matrix is preserved with a patented freeze-drying process. The graft is then ready for implantation to help your body begin its own tissue regeneration process.
The donor tissue undergoes the same stringent screening criteria as any other implantable tissue or organ (heart, lungs & kidneys, etc.). It only comes to the processor, LifeCell, from tissue banks that meet the standards of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB).
Before it is accepted for processing, the donor tissue must pass rigid guidelines set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). LifeCell’s proprietary processing then takes the tissue, under additional regulations and AATB guidelines, and makes it even safer.
AlloDerm is widely used in both medicine and dentistry for plastic and reconstructive surgery. Originally developed to treat burn patients, it is now used in general surgery, orthopedic surgery and urogenital surgery in addition to its applications in dental surgical procedures. Since its introduction in 1994, there have been more than 900,000 AlloDerm grafts placed with no incidence of disease transmission.
AlloDerm is a processed tissue that comes from donors who are extensively screened and tested for presence of diseases including HIV and hepatitis. The processing procedure has been demonstrated to reduce HIV and Hepatitis C surrogate virus to non-detectable levels. Additional testing for presence of pathogens is performed prior to and following processing to ensure that AlloDerm is disease-free before release for patient care.
AlloDerm repairs damaged tissue by providing a foundation for new tissue regeneration. The components preserved in AlloDerm contain the information that will help your own tissue to grow into the graft after placement. Soon after placement, blood flows from your tissue into the AlloDerm. Next, your own cells move into AlloDerm and begin the process of tissue regeneration. This is the way your body replaces cells during its regular maintenance cycle. As the healing progresses, more of your cells move into the AlloDerm and transform it into tissue that looks and functions naturally.
Over time, AlloDerm allows regrowth of your own healthy gum tissue. Once recovery is complete, you won’t be able to tell the AlloDerm was ever there.
Multiple clinical studies have documented AlloDerm to be equivalent to the patient’s own tissue for the treatment of recession defects.1-4 AlloDerm has also demonstrated equivalent or superior esthetic results compared to the patient’s own tissue.1-4 AlloDerm is also successfully used to augment soft tissue around dental implants, protect bone grafts and cover tooth extraction sites.
You will have some initial swelling and possibly some mild bruising at the surgical site. This is normal following any surgery. Avoid pulling on your lip to look at the surgical site or rubbing your tongue over the area. This could cause disruption of the surgical site or movement of the graft and lead to increased swelling and delayed healing. You may have a dressing material placed over the surgical site. This needs to stay as secure as possible until your doctor removes it.
You should have cold liquids for your first three meals and then soft foods for one week. Avoid chewing near the surgical site for two weeks.
You may begin using your toothbrush in all areas except the surgical site the day after surgery. Brushing the surgical site can damage the graft in the early healing phase and should be avoided until your doctor instructs you to do so. An antimicrobial mouth rinse will be prescribed to keep the surgical area clean until you are able to brush. An antibiotic may also be prescribed for you. It is important to take all prescribed medications as directed by your doctor to ensure a successful outcome.
Healing time varies depending on the individual and the procedure. Your body’s natural healing process will stimulate your cells to enter the graft and begin the regeneration and integration process shortly after your surgery. You should experience significant healing in the first two weeks. Although complete maturation of the graft may take three to six months, you may begin to treat the area normally by three to six weeks. During the initial healing period, any exposed graft may appear white in color. This is normal. Do not disturb or remove this portion of the graft. It will appear normal in color with more healing time.
Please ask your doctor for more information on the benefits and risks of using AlloDerm for your procedure.
Below is an actual case where AlloDerm Regenerative Tissue Matrix was used to cover exposed roots. Note the return to natural tissue contours and the pleasing appearance.
A 2-Year Follow-Up of Root Coverage Using Subpedicle Acellular Dermal Matrix Allografts and Subepithelial Connective Tissue Autografts. A. Hirsch, M. Goldstein, J. Goultschin, B.D. Boyan, and Z. Schwartz. J Periodontol 2005; 76:1323-1328.
Histologic Evaluation of Autogenous Connective Tissue and Acellular Dermal Matrix Grafts in Humans. Lewis C. Cummings, Wayne B. Kaldahl, and Edward P. Allen. J Periodontol 2005; 76: 178-186.
Subpedicle Acellular Dermal Matrix Graft and Autogenous Connective Tissue Graft in the Treatment of Gingival Recessions: A Comparative 1-Year Clinical Study. Michele Paolantonio, Marco Dolci, Paola Esposito, Domenico D’Archivio, Luca Lisanti, Alfonso Di Luccio, and Giuseppe Perinetti. J Periodontol 2002; 73:1299-1307.
Clinical Evaluation of Acellular Allograft Dermis for the Treatment of Human Gingival Recession. Mary E. Aichelmann-Reidy, Raymond A. Yukna, Gerald H. Evans, Hisham F. Nasr, and Elizabeth T. Mayer. J Periodontol 2001; 72:998-1005.
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