Flap Surgery: Dental Care Designed to Save Your Gums from Periodontal Disease
Millions of Americans suffer from periodontal disease. You will know if you are infected because your gums will become sore and inflamed. As the disease progresses, your gums will start to bleed and deteriorate. Your case can become so severe that your dentist will send you to a periodontist who specializes in treating gum disease. A technique the periodontist can perform is a procedure called flap surgery. Flap surgery is used to get to the roots of your teeth so the periodontist can remove the tartar and plaque that is causing the gum inflammation. If your dentist has sent you to a periodontist, and you have been informed that you should have flap surgery, here is an overview of the procedure and what you should expect to happen.
Lidocaine is commonly used to numb your gums and teeth. The periodontist will use a syringe to administer the lidocaine in the same way the dentist does when filling a cavity.
Creating a Flap
The periodontist will use a scalpel to cut into the gums so they can reach the roots of your teeth. The cutting will be limited to a few teeth at a time so you can still eat and talk while the surgical site heals. Once the gum is cut, it is folded back to create the flap.
Cleaning the Roots
The periodontist will use a metal descaler or an ultrasonic descaler to scrape and break apart the tartar and plaque on the roots. The entire root of the tooth will be scraped until the periodontist gets down the surface of the tooth.
The periodontist will also inspect the condition of your gums around the surgical site. If any of the gum tissue is dying because of the inflammation, the periodontist will remove the dying gum tissue by cutting it out with the scalpel.
Resurfacing the Bone
Periodontal disease often causes pockets and ridges to form on the surface of the tooth because of bone loss. These pockets serve as places for the tartar and plaque to gather. The tooth will be ground down to a smooth surface to remove the pockets and ridges that the plaque and tartar hide in.
Stitching the Gums
The periodontist will close the flap in the gums and stitch it together. You should heal within a few weeks. Once you heal, the periodontist will repeat the procedure in other parts of your mouth until all the roots of your teeth have been cleaned.
Make an appointment with a healthcare provider such as Treasured Smiles Dentistry to get started treating your periodontal disease.