Pocket Reduction

Pocket Reduction Surgery, sometimes referred to as Osseous Surgery, refers to a number of different surgeries aimed at gaining access to the tooth roots to remove tartar and disease-causing bacteria. The surgery, itself, is not  the real treatment for periodontal disease. The main goal of Pocket Reduction Surgery is to reduce the depth of the periodontal pockets thus improving your ability to effectively remove bacterial plaque on a daily basis. This is how you can help prevent further bone loss.

Pocket Reduction Surgery is used to reshape deformities and remove pockets in the alveolar bone surrounding the teeth. It is a common necessity in effective treatment of more advanced periodontal diseases. The ultimate goal of osseous surgery is to reduce or eliminate the periodontal pockets that cause periodontal disease.  The specific goals of surgery include:

  • Reducing the Depth of the Periodontal Pockets:  This will help you to remove the daily accumulation of bacterial plaque with your brushing and flossing.
  • Preventing Bone Loss: The daily removal of plaque by you is the best way to prevent bone loss.
  • Facilitating Home Care:  As the gum pocket deepens, it can become nearly impossible to brush and floss adequately. Osseous surgery reduces pocket size, making it easier to brush and floss, and thereby prevent further periodontal disease.

What’s Involved?

A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area prior to surgery. Sedation is also available for this procedure. First, Dr. Alvarenga will cut around each tooth of the affected area to release the gum tissue from the bone. This allows access to the bone and roots of the teeth. After the roots have been thoroughly cleaned through scaling, a drill and hand tools will be used to reshape the bone around the teeth. Bone is removed in some areas to restore the normal rise and fall of the bone, but at a lower level. Bone grafting may also be necessary to fill in large defects.

Next, the gums will be placed back over the remaining bone and sutured in place. The site will also be covered with a bandage (periodontal pack) or dressing. Pain medicine and mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine are generally prescribed following the surgery.

You usually miss a day of work following the surgery. You may feel pain or discomfort for up to ten days. Several follow up visits may be necessary to follow the healing.  You must fulfill a meticulous maintenance program especially during the initial phases of healing to avoid post-operative infection. Good brushing and flossing is a must after the surgery and for as long as you keep your teeth. This is the only way you can benefit from Pocket Reduction Surgery.