Gum Graft Surgery Cost


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

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Your gums, over time, may begin to recede, either due to a disease, aggressive brushing and/or even because of genetics.

As this process happens, it will start to expose the tooth root, making the affected tooth very sensitive to hot and cold foods.

In this case, your dentist may often recommend a gum tissue graft, commonly referred to as a gingival graft, a procedure designed to help cover the root to eliminate your sensitivity and even improve the appearance.  It can also help protect the damaging effects of gum recession as well.

Gum Graft Surgery Cost
Injection” (CC BY 2.0) by Conor Lawless

How much does a gum graft cost?

The cost of a gum graft will greatly depend on the severity of your condition, the type of tissue being used (either via a donor or your own mouth), the dentist you use and your geographical region.

From our research, if you need tissue donated from another person, usually a cadaver, it will cost about 30% more than using your own tissue.  In most cases, be prepared to spend anywhere from $700 to more than $1,800 per tooth without any sort of dental insurance, but the average cost per tooth can drastically drop if the dentist needs to work on more than one tooth during the surgery.

A dentist of Realself.com stated the more the teeth need to be treated, the lower the cost should be, but on average, you should be prepared to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 per tooth without any sedation.  As for the average, the website reported members paid anywhere from $1,375 to $6,000 for the procedure.

Max Arocha, DMD, according to his official website, he noted you should be prepared to spend anywhere between $700 to $1,000 for a single procedure on a small site that includes one to two teeth.  In the end, the costs, as mentioned, will depend on the extent of the recession and the type of tissue being used.

Healthline.com mentions that if you do have insurance, you may find you will pay little to nothing at all, and in some cases, you may be able to have the procedure done for free if you have it as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The procedure

The procedure, either performed by a dentist or a periodontist, is almost always done inside of the dentist office and is considered an outpatient procedure.

As per WebMD, there are three popular gum tissue graft procedures a dentist may choose:  either a connective-tissue graft, free gingival graft or a pedicle graft.

TypesDescription
Connective-tissueThis is the most common method, a process which takes skin from the roof of your mouth and stitched around the root of the affected gum.
Free gingivalSimilar to the connective-tissue method, this, instead involves creating a flap and removing the tissue from beneath the top layer of flesh from your the root of your mouth instead of creating a flap.
PedicleInstead of taking tissue from the palate of your mouth, the tissue, instead, is grafted from around the gums and/or tooth in need of repair, only so one edge is able to remain intact. The gum is pulled over and sewn into place.

Before they start, they will first numb the affected area, and the case of an anxious patient, a mild sedative may be used as well.

Next, a small cut, made at the graft site, will form a pocket in order for the new tissue to be inserted.  The new tissue, if it comes from your own mouth, will often come from the roof of your mouth if you’re considered a good candidate.  If not, as mentioned, it will come from a local tissue bank, most likely from a cadaver.

After being inserted, it is then stitched shut and a mouth guard may be inserted to help prevent any excessive bleeding and to prevent your tongue from playing with the stitches as your mouth heals.  This step may vary, depending on the method being used, as explained above.

As for recovery, patients will be asked to avoid any strenuous activity and hard brushing/flossing for several days after the procedure until the gums heal and you will be able to go home right after the procedure is done, usually after the dentist monitors you for the next 30 to 60 minutes.  However, if you were given a sedative, you will need to have someone to drive you home and may be asked to stay at the office longer than a patient who didn’t take one.

Depending on where the tissue came from, the entire recovery process can take up to 10 days.  LaJollaMom.com talked about her personal recovery process and may be worth a read.  Once healed, you will be asked to come in for a follow-up appointment, where your dentist will check your gums and confirm everything is healing as it should.

Risks and complications

As with any procedure, risks and complications may occur.  According to Healthline.com, complications are rare, with infections being the most common threat.  In other rare cases, if the graft tissue doesn’t adhere to its new site, then you may need to have the procedure done once again.

Tips to know

The success rate for a gum graft can vary from person to person, but according to orthodontisteenligne.com, the success rate is often excellent, with the benefits usually being permanent; however, if you are a smoker, the success rate will be lower in comparison to someone who doesn’t.

One gum graft alternative, according to Dr. Linger is the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique™, a newly invasive option designed to help treat receding gums without the pain and recovery time as with traditional surgery.

The pain will greatly depend on the type of gum graft performed.  If you had no tissue removed from the roof of your mouth, then you should feel very little discomfort; however, if the tissue was removed, then you may be in slight pain for the next three to five days, but it is nothing an OTC cannot help.  Most dentists say patients rate the pain as a three to four out of 10 on the pain scale.

AlexandriaPeriodontics.com has multiple gum graft before and after pictures to browse.


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Average Reported Cost: $500

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Linda Hirsh (Nexuco,  Maine) paid $500 and said:

    I had my gum graft in Mexico so it cost me $500.00 for 2 teeth. It is a beautiful job but the recovery pain on the roof of my mouth is absolutely terrible. Stitches are out day 8 but this pain is bad enough I can’t do anything.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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