Periodontal flap surgery -- also called pocket-depth reduction surgery -- is necessary when your gums still have pockets of infection even after we've completed scaling and root planing. This procedure will remove the existing bacteria and any remaining plaque and tartar, reduce the size of the pockets, and make it easier for you to keep your teeth plaque-free.

Infected pocket before surgery Infected tissue and bacteria are removed In a healthy mouth, the gum and bone tissue fit snugly up around the "neck" of your tooth. But when you have periodontal disease, this tissue becomes damaged and pulls away from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria thrive. If allowed to progress, the infection will result in permanent bone and tissue loss, and you will lose teeth.

We are recommending a flap surgery procedure for you because some deep pockets in your gums remain and are preventing you from removing the plaque from your teeth. First, we'll make sure the affected area is completely numb. Then we'll make an incision in the gums, and gently fold back the flap of gum tissue, exposing the pockets and the roots of the teeth. At this point, the infected gum tissue, plaque, and tartar will be removed.

We'll then smooth the area to eliminate irregular surfaces on the bone. We'll also adjust your gum-line to help eliminate the pockets, so it's easier for you to keep your teeth plaque-free.

When the procedure is complete, we will gently close the flap and may place several stitches. We may also pack a protective material around the area to prevent contamination and speed healing. After a week or so, we'll have you back to check healing and remove any stitches that were placed.

Periodontal flap surgery, when combined with good oral homecare, can help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.