Osseous surgery, sometimes referred to as pocket reduction surgery, refers to a number of different surgeries aimed at gaining access to the tooth roots to remove tartar and disease-causing bacteria, as well as control bony contours to re-position gum tissues close to the bone and thereby reduce pocket depth. Surgery also allows access for bone grafting to regenerate lost bone support of teeth, where this may be indicated.
Goals of Osseous Surgery
Osseous 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:
- Preventing Bone Loss:
The immune system’s inflammatory response prompted by periodontal bacteria can lead to bone loss in the jaw region, and cause teeth to fall out. Osseous surgery seeks to stop periodontal disease before it progresses to this level.
- 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 and more effective to brush and floss, and thereby prevent further periodontal disease.
- Enhancing the Smile:
Mouths plagued with periodontal disease are often unsightly. Red, swollen and bleeding gums, rotting teeth, and ridge indentations can leave a person feeling depressed and too self-conscious to smile. Periodontal treatments, including surgery, can help reduce bacteria and disease and thereby restore your mouth to its former radiance, while restoring confidence at the same time.
- Reducing Bacterial Spread:
Bacteria from the mouth can spread throughout the body and cause other life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and respiratory disease. Removing deep tartar and thereby bacteria can help reduce the risk of bacteria spreading
What does the procedure entail?
A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area prior to surgery. First, Dr. Pollack, Odrich or Sarmiento 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, hand tools and/or piezosurgery 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, sometimes also using a special barrier membrane to isolate the bone, may also be necessary to fill in large defects and regenerate lost bone support.
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.
Do not be alarmed if bleeding and swelling occur after the surgery. This can be controlled easily by placing an ice pack on the outside of the affected area. In cases where the bleeding and swelling is in excess, it is advised that you call to notify our office. Several follow up visits may be necessary and you must fulfill a meticulous maintenance program especially during the initial phases of healing to avoid post-operative infection. Please consult with the post-operative instructions given to you, or call the office if you have questions or concerns.