When is Periodontal Surgery Used in Dental Care

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What Is Periodontal Surgery and When Is It Needed? 

Periodontalm surgery, also known as gum surgery, is a procedure that’s often needed to treat gum disease and other types of oral health issues. It can help prevent tooth loss, regrow damaged bones and tissues, reshape the jaw bone to lower risk of bacterial growth, and eliminate bacteria and infections. It’s also used when a patient requires dental implants due to damaged teeth.

Types of Periodontal Surgery

When you visit your dentist, he or she will examine your teeth and gums to determine if periodontal surgery may be needed. The type that’s required will depend on the severity of damage that’s been done to your teeth or gums.

Here’s a quick look at the different types of periodontal surgery that are available:

Scaling and Root Planting 

This procedure is a deep clean of your teeth and gums. Scaling removes tartar and bacteria while root planting removes tartar from the roots of your teeth and also smoothes them out so that you have a lower possibility of bacteria and tartar build-up. Even though this is meant to clean the teeth and is minimally invasive, it’s still referred to as periodontal surgery.

Flap Surgery

If you have tartar deposits deep into your gums, your dentist may suggest that flap surgery is used. With this procedure, your gums are lifted away from your teeth and then the teeth are thoroughly cleaned. Once the tartar has been removed, the gums are stitched into place so that they are properly fitted around your teeth.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is needed when the bone around a root has become damaged or destroyed. With this procedure, the old bone is replaced with new bone that will hold the tooth in place and help it regrow. Depending on the dentist and what’s available, the new bone may be from yourself, but will most likely be either donated bone or manufactured.

Tissue Regeneration 

In certain situations, your gums may begin to grow into places where bone should be. If that’s the case, the dentist will place a mesh-like material between your bone and gum tissue. This will allow the bone and connective tissue to regrow properly.

Tissue Grafting

If your gums are receding, then you may be in need of tissue grafting, also known as a gum graft. With this procedure, tissue is removed from one spot (usually the roof of your mouth) and reattached to where the gum has receded. This is effective in reducing the possibility of further damage while also covering up exposed roots.

What to Expect During Surgery

How periodontal surgery unfolds will depend on the type of procedure that’s being performed. While scaling and root planting may take less than an hour, most of the other surgeries listed here will take approximately two hours or longer.

Whether or not you’re asleep or simply given a local anesthetic to numb you up will also depend on the type of surgery that’s being performed. At the end of the surgery, the dentist will stitch the gums back into place and will ask you to return a week or two later to have them removed.

Recovery Following the Surgery

After any dental procedure, the dentist will provide you with detailed instructions on what to do and what not to do. Following periodontal surgery, most people will require some type of pain relief medication for at least a few days. Other recommendations will include such things as the use of an antiseptic mouthwash, avoiding strenuous exercise, which foods to eat or avoid, and insistence that you don’t smoke.

You’ll then be asked to return in one or two weeks so that the dentist can remove any stitches and check to make sure that the gums are healing properly.

Contact Dr. Ferullo for Periodontal Surgery

The St. Petersburg dentist office of Dr. Ferullo can assist you with periodontal surgery, whitening treatments, and many other forms of dental and oral care. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, call our staff at (727) 822-8101 today.

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