Osseous surgery, sometimes referred to as pocket reduction surgery or gingivectomy, refers to a number of different procedures aimed at gaining access to the tooth roots to remove tartar and disease-causing bacteria.
Goals of Osseous Surgery
Osseous surgery is used to reshape deformities and to remove pockets in the alveolar bone surrounding the teeth. This is often required to effectively treat more advanced periodontal diseases. The ultimate goal of osseous surgery is to reduce or eliminate the periodontal pockets that cause periodontal disease. Despite the word “surgery” the procedure is reported to feel more like a thorough cleaning. The specific goals of surgery include:
- 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, together with periodontal pathogens can help reduce the risk of bacteria entering the blood stream.
- Preventing Bone Loss:
The immune system’s inflammatory response prompted by periodontal bacteria can lead to bone loss in the jaw region, with resultant tooth loss. Osseous surgery seeks to stop periodontal disease, before it progresses to this level.
- Enhancing the Smile:
Mouths plagued with periodontal disease are often unsightly. Unhealthly gums, rotting teeth, and ridge indentations can leave a person feeling depressed and too self-conscious to smile. Fortunately, osseous surgery can help reduce bacteria and disease, and thereby return your mouth to its former radiance, while restoring confidence at the same time.
- Facilitating Home Care:
As the gum pockets deepen, it can become nearly impossible to brush and floss adequately. Osseous surgery reduces pocket depth, making it easier to accomplish proper oral hygiene, and thereby prevent further periodontal breakdown.
What does the procedure entail?
A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area prior to surgery. First, Dr. Gainey 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, if required special instruments will be used to reshape the bone around the teeth. Bone grafting may also be necessary to fill in large defects.
Next, the gums will be placed back over the remaining bone and sutured into place. The site will also be covered with a protective bandage (periodontal dressing). Mild pain medication, and mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine are often prescribed following the surgery.
A meticulous oral hygiene program during the initial phases of healing is required to assure an excellent result.