Osseous surgery, also known as pocket depth reduction, is a surgical procedure intended to restore your gums to a healthier, more natural state. If your periodontist has recommended osseous surgery, it is because you have pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and a professional care routine. Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth, creating a protective cover from bacteria. If you have periodontal disease, the supporting tissue and bone are destroyed, and this forms pockets around the teeth. Over time, these pockets become deeper and provide a larger space for bacteria to live. As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. To reduce the need for extractions, osseous surgery may be recommended.
Reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria are important in preventing damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and in helping you maintain a healthy smile. Eliminating bacteria alone may not be sufficient to prevent disease recurrence. Deeper pockets are more difficult for you and your dental care professional to clean, so it’s important to make them as small as possible. Small pockets and a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth as well as decrease the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.
How is osseous surgery performed?
During this procedure, your periodontist will fold back the gum tissue and remove the disease-causing bacteria before securing the tissue back into place. If the underlying bone has been damaged, the irregular surface will be smoothed out to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This will also allow your gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone more effectively.
You may experience some swelling after the surgery, so applying an ice pack to the outside of your face over the treated area can help with any discomfort. In some cases, antibiotics are given before, during, and after the treatment in order to prevent any infections. After a week or two, you’ll come back to our office so that your periodontist can check the surgical area and ensure your mouth is healing properly.