recently went to my dentist to get a damaged bridge replaced. She suggested that she could improve the fit and appearance of one of the prosthetics if I got some gum reconstruction or a gingival graft. A gingival graft is a procedure where they remove tissue from the roof of your mouth and attach it along the gum line to improve abscesses. I told her that I was not one to take extreme and/or expensive procedures unless they were medically necessary. She told me that it was a simple, out patient procedure, the cost would be around a $1000 and I would have maybe a week of irritation to my palate.
So I trusted her and I went to a periodontist that she referred to have the procedure done. Again, I asked him about the issue of pain and he repeated her line that I might have some sensitivity eating on that side for 7 to 10 days. Well that was September 15th or nearly two weeks ago and I am prepared to conclude that this has been one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I have endured more pain in the last 2 weeks than I have had in my entire life combined. I am taking so much pain medication I am wondering what I am doing to my liver. I called the periodontist and he basically told me to suck it up. I called again and he finally agreed to give me some Oxycodone.
The bottom line is that I feel there was not full disclosure by either the dentist or the periodontist. I would never have agreed to pay $1000 to go through this much pain just to make an incremental cosmetic improvement to a dental prosthetic. I feel that I was the victim of greedy dentists practicing anti-medicine and withholding information in order to pad their wallets. I have talked with quite a few people and some people appear to do fine with the procedure and I have also found people who described it as the worse experience of their entire lives. Nonetheless I believe the dentist had the professional responsibility to disclose the variability of outcomes and the possibility of debilitating pain.
Read more stories about gum grafts at the Experience Project --> here.