Pocket Reduction Surgery
The surgical treatment of periodontal disease is determined by periocharting X-rays. When nonsurgical treatments cannot eliminate pocket depth, periodontal surgery is necessary. Once periodontal surgery is performed, the patient has a predictable and healthy environment that can be maintained by good oral hygiene.
Before Surgery. A deep pocket allows plaque and tartar to collect far below the gumline.
Inflammation and infection have destroyed some supporting bone.
Opening the gum. The gum is first lifted and rolled back, creating a “gum flap.” Tartar is then removed from the root.
The surgeon also removes diseased gum tissue.
Shaping the bone. If needed, the bone is smoothed and reshaped. This reduces pits and rough areas where bacteria grow.
Helping tissues heal. A substance may be applied to the root to help the ligaments and gum reattach. Instruments may be used
to cauterize (seal off) the area and reduce bleeding.
Closing up. The gum flap is sewn shut in a position that reduces pocket depth. A dressing may be used to protect the area. This dressing is a bit like clay or putty. If used, it remains in place until removed by your dentist at a follow up visit.
After the gum heals. Once the gum is healed, the stitches dissolve or are removed. Your dentist also removes the dressing. The pocket is shallower. With a lower gumline, it is likely that more of the tooth will be visible.
Soft tissue lasers are indicated for pocket elimination for moderate to advanced periodontal disease. These periodontal pockets are in the soft tissue and not in the bone. We are happy to offer our patients the advantages of laser softcare because it offers our patients many benefits including return to a lifestyle that a patient is accusomted to in a timely manner with minimal pain. The kinetic energy from the laser reattaches the gums to the tooth, eliminating the space between the tooth and the gums. A small amount of light energy from the laster reduces the bacteria associated with periodontal disease. The laser actually welds the gums back on the tooth, eliminating the soft tissue pocketing. Therefore, gingival flap with root planing using a soft tissue laser is the treatment of choice for moderate to advanced periodontal disease. There is no collateral damage to the healthy tissue; only the removal of unhealthy tissue.
How does it work?
Tartar, associated with inflammation and occasional bleeding gums, is removed from the root surface of the tooth using an ultrasonic scaler and small instruments.
Then, a small amount of light energy from a laser is directed through a tiny fiber, which is gently placed between the gum and tooth. This light energy aids in reducing the bacteria associated with the disease. After the area is thoroughly cleaned, the body can heal the area naturally.
A tiny fiber is placed between the gum and teeth. The actual procedure can be virtually painless.
Does it hurt?
Although the procedures itself can be virtually painless, we may anesthetize the area for your comfort. In this way we can precisely direct the laser for treatment. Post-procedure discomfort is typically less intense and of shorter duration than conventional periodontal surgery.
How long does it take?
Your initial treatment will focus on scaling and use of small instruments to remove the tartar. Then, the laser portion of the treatment will be performed. Depending on the severity of your periodontal disease, your treatment may be accomplished in one office visit or in multiple visits. Your estimated treatment time will be reviewed with you when we discuss your treatment plan.
Patients that have advanced to severe periodontal disease have horizontal and vertical bone loss and deep soft tissue pockets that bleed, and must be treated by a periodontist. This involves reshaping and smoothing the bone. Root planing is done prior to osseous surgery. This procedure reduces the inflammation and improves the quality of the soft tissue by removing the toxins and tartar off of the teeth. Our staff periodontist reshapes the bone, eliminating the pockets that bleed, creating a healthy environment that can be maintained by the patient. The tooth may look longer than it did before treatment but further bone loss is prevented. Additional bone may be placed around the surgerized teeth via bone graphs. The patient receives about ten sutures that are completely covered by a white periodontal packing. These sutures facilitate healing, and the packing controls the environment and promotes comfort and protection to the surgerized area. The sutures and packing are removed one week after the surgery.