Osseous Surgery

Osseous surgery, sometimes referred to as pocket reduction surgery, refers to a number of different surgeries aimed at gaining access to the tooth roots to remove tartar and disease-causing bacteria.

Goals of Osseous Surgery

Osseous surgery is used to reduce pocket depth by reshaping deformities in the bone surrounding the teeth. It is more common with treatment of more advanced periodontal diseases. The ultimate goal of osseous surgery is to reduce or eliminate the periodontal pockets that cause periodontal disease and improve access for at home oral hygiene.

The specific goals of osseous surgery include:

  • Reducing Bacterial Spread:
    Bacteria from the mouth can spread throughout the body affect conditions such as heart disease and diabetes which can result in better overall health. 
  • Preventing Bone Loss:
    The immune system’s inflammatory response prompted by periodontal bacteria can lead to bone loss in the jaw region, and cause teeth to fall out. Osseous surgery seeks to stop periodontal disease from progressing.
  • Facilitating Home Care:
    As the gum pocket deepens, it can become impossible for brushing and flossing to  adequately remove bacteria and buildup. Osseous surgery reduces pocket depth, making brushing and flossing more effective, and thereby prevent further periodontal disease.

What does osseous surgery entail?

A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area prior to surgery. First, Dr. Nehring or Dr. Terry will make incisions around each tooth of the affected area to release the gum tissue from the bone. This allows access to the bone and roots of the teeth. After the roots have been thoroughly cleaned and smoothed through scaling, the bone will be reshaped around the teeth. Bone is removed in some areas to restore the normal architecture of the bone, but at a lower level. Bone grafting may also be completed to regenerate bone in some areas.

Next, the gums will be placed back over the remaining bone and sutured in place. The site will also sometimes be covered with a bandage (periodontal pack) or dressing. Pain medicine and mouth rinses are also generally prescribed following the surgery.

Regular dental office follow up visits for cleaning are necessary to maintain results and long term stability of the periodontal disease.