Pocket Depth Reduction
(Osseous Surgery/Periodontal Regeneration)

The main cause of periodontal disease is bacteria in the form of a sticky, colorless plaque that consistently forms on your teeth.  Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth like a “turtleneck around your neck”, but with a depth of only 2 to 3 millimeters.  As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue.  When you have periodontal disease, the supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, forming “pockets” around the teeth.  Over time these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live.  This causes the gum tissue to fit less snugly around the teeth and the depth of the “turtleneck” to deepen.  These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss.

When pockets progress to a depth of 5 millimeters or greater they become too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene or by professional routine care.  This allows for the progressive build-up of bacteria beyond the depth that neither the patient nor dentist/hygienist can clean.  It therefore becomes necessary to reduce the depth of the pocket to facilitate plaque removal.

Osseous Surgery

During Osseous Surgery, the periodontist folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease causing bacteria.  Irregularities in the contour of the bone, which can occur as a result of the damage to the bone, are smoothened.  This allows the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone and facilitates pocket reduction.

Periodontal Regeneration
Sometimes the damage to the bone causes irregularities that are too deep to smoothen.  Often times we can utilize periodontal regeneration to help re-grow the supporting structures of the tooth.  This includes the use of bone grafts, guided tissue regenerative membranes and sometimes tissue stimulating proteins to encourage body’s natural ability to re-grow bone and tissue.

What are the benefits of this procedure?
Reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria are important to prevent damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and to maintain a healthy smile.  Eliminating bacteria alone may not be sufficient to prevent disease recurrence.

Deeper pockets are more difficult for you and your dental care professional to clean, so it is important for you to reduce them.  Reduced pockets and a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth.

Will it hurt?
New treatment options using refined techniques can be performed comfortably as office procedures.  Improvements in medications, local anesthesia, anxiety and pain control are available to make your treatment more pleasant and comfortable.  Headphones with your choice of music are available as well.

How long will it take to heal?
It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions.  Patients generally can expect to enjoy their normal routine the following day.  You should talk to us about any special post-operative considerations you may have, such as diet, exercise or follow-up medications.  This will help to minimize disruption of your daily activities.

Will insurance cover the surgery?

Many insurance plans pay a portion of periodontal services.  Your periodontal health is important, so talk to us about payment options.  Our staff will work with your insurance company to secure maximum benefits.