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Periodontal flap surgery

Periodontal flap surgery is performed after a course of thorough non-surgical treatment. Surgery might be necessary if inflammation and deep pockets remain following treatment with deep cleaning and medications. A dentist or periodontist may perform flap surgery to remove tartar deposits in deep pockets or to reduce the periodontal pocket and make it easier for the patient, dentist, and hygienist to keep the area clean. The advantage of flap surgery of non-surgical techniques is that it gives direct visibility and access to the plaque/calculus deposits.

Before surgery begins, you will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area. This common surgery involves lifting back the gums and removing the tartar. The gums are then sutured back in place so that the tissue fits snugly around the tooth again. After surgery the gums will heal and fit more tightly around the tooth. This sometimes results in the teeth appearing longer. Your dentist may cover the surgical site with a bandage. This is called a periodontal pack or dressing. They will let you know whether you need to return to the practice to have any sutures removed.

After Care to Periodontal flap surgery

Following the procedure, you may have mild to moderate discomfort for a few days, which can be controlled with over the counter pain relief or your dentist can prescribe something to control the discomfort too.
It is very important for you to keep your mouth as clean as possible whilst the area which had the procedure carried out on is healing. This means you should brush and floss the rest of your mouth normally. If the surgical site is not covered by a periodontal pack, you can use a toothbrush to gently remove plaque from the teeth. Antimicrobial mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine are often prescribed after gum surgery. These rinses kill bacteria, delay plaque growth and help your mouth to heal.

What is the long-term effect of this treatment?

If successful, inflammation will resolve and the gum will shrink and tighten up around the teeth eliminating the deep pockets. This will however result in recession as successful treatment is aimed at eliminating further destruction and will not bring back the soft tissues and bone that have already been destroyed.
If you do not keep on top of oral hygiene the gum disease will not resolve. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you stick to a rigorous routine of brushing, flossing, mouth wash etc. as you will have been advised. You will need to see your dentist regularly so that he or she can follow your progress.