Reasons for Gum Surgery and What to Expect – Part 3
Gingival Flap Surgery
When deep cleaning isn’t able to remove the harmful bacteria from below the gumline, your periodontist may suggest gum flap surgery. This surgery is for those who have moderate to advanced gum disease.
Before the procedure, a dental hygienist will clean your teeth and remove any plaque and tartar from them. Then, the area will be numbed and the periodontist will separate the gums from the teeth by creating a flap. This will expose the root of the tooth as well as the bone. Scaling and root planing is performed to remove any calculus from the tooth and prepare the area to allow the gums to reattach. Any inflamed tissue in the area will be removed and your periodontist can address and bone defects through osseous recontouring.
When completed, the area will be stitched up, either with stitches that dissolve on their own, or ones that will be removed by the periodontist later. There may be some minor pain after this surgery, which can be treated with over-the-counter medicines or a pain medication prescribed by your periodontist.
Crown lengthening is a common cosmetic procedure that can be used to address those who have a problem with gums that cover too much of their teeth (known as a gummy smile). It can also provide some health benefits, as exposing more of the tooth enamel will make dental treatment easier for your dentist.
The complexity and length of time required for this procedure will vary from case to case, depending on what needs to be done. The periodontist will first make cuts along the gum so that they are able to pull them away and expose the tooth roots and surrounding bone tissue. In cases where just removing gum tissue isn’t sufficient, some of the bone may need to be removed as well. When enough tissue has been removed to improve the smile, the area will be washed with sterile saltwater and closed back up. Your periodontist will likely want to see you again for a couple of follow-up lists to make sure everything is healing properly.
This concludes our series on gum surgery. We hope you found it informative. If you have questions or concerns about gum surgery, feel free to make an appointment for a consultation with one of our periodontists!