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Pocket Reduction Surgery

Osseous Surgery

Osseous resective surgery also referred to as pocket reduction surgery is a procedure that removes excess or unhealthy bone and gum tissue as well as disease-causing bacteria.

Gum pockets are spaces formed between the teeth and gums by the bacteria that leads to periodontal disease. These pockets can cause inflammation, infection, bone loss, and tooth loss. Pocket reduction surgery performed by a Periodontist reduces the depth of the pockets, halting bone loss, infections, and improving the look and health of teeth and gums

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which, if left untreated, causes massive bacteria colonization in gum pockets and will eventually lead to teeth falling out.  Pocket reduction surgery is an attempt to alleviate this destructive cycle, and reduce the depth of the bacteria-harboring pockets.

Reasons for Osseous (Pocket reduction) surgery

Pocket reduction surgery is a common periodontal procedure which has been proven effective at eliminating bacteria, reducing inflammation, and saving teeth.  The goals of pocket reduction surgery are:

  • Halting Bone Loss: The chronic inflammatory response induced by oral bacteria leads the body to destroy bone tissue and causes teeth to fall out.
  • Facilitate Home Care:  As the gum pockets become progressively deeper, they become incredibly difficult for the patient to clean.  Osseous surgery reduces pocket depth making it possible to effectively brush and floss and preventing further periodontal disease.
  • Enhance the Smile: A mouth that is affected by periodontal disease is not attractive to the eye.  Smiles may be marred by brown gums, rotting teeth and ridge indentations.  Pocket reduction surgery halts the progression of gum disease and improves the appearance of the smile.
  • Reduce Bacterial Spread: Bacteria in the mouth has been connected to many other serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.  Oral bacteria can travel to various parts of the body from inside the bloodstream and begin to colonize.

What does pocket reduction surgery involve?

A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area before surgery.  The gums will be gently pulled back from the teeth while bacteria and calculus (tartar) are removed.  If the root is not completely smooth, a planing procedure will be performed to ensure that when the gums do heal, they will not reattach to rough or uneven surfaces.

Bony craters will be eliminated, in order to reduce pocketing in the area and for the gum tissue to adapt properly to the surrounding bone tissue. Bone grafting may be possible in some cases to regenerate bone loss.

If specific deep bony craters are found, regenerative materials can be placed to help regenerate bone, cementum, and periodontal ligament. This aids in the re-attachment of the gum tissue to the tooth and in the elimination of bony craters. The materials commonly used for this procedure are either synthetic or bovine-derived (cow).

Though the gums will be more sensitive in the days immediately following these procedures, there will be a significant reduction in pocket depth and along with proper oral hygiene a vast improvement in the condition of the teeth and gums.

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