Osseous surgery/flap curettage, also known as pocket-depth reduction, is a surgical procedure aimed at restoring your gums to a healthier, more natural state. If we have recommended osseous surgery, it is because you have pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and a professional care routine.
Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth to create a protective cover from bacteria. If you have periodontal disease, the supporting tissue and bone are destroyed, and this forms pockets around the teeth.
Over time, these pockets become deeper and provide a larger space for bacteria to grow and multiply. As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. To reduce the need for extractions, flap curettage may be recommended.
Reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria are useful for preventing damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and in helping you 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’s worthwhile to make them as shallow as possible.
Shallow pockets and a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth as well as reduce the odds of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.
How is flap curettage/osseous surgery performed?
During this procedure, the gum tissue is released/pushed away from the teeth to gain access below the gum line and remove the disease-causing bacteria and tartar before securing the tissue back into place.
If the underlying bone has been damaged, the irregular surface will be smoothed out to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This will also allow your gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone more effectively.