Periodontal Surgery -- Open Flap

Periodontal disease refers to bacterial plaque and infections around the gum and tooth root. It can happen around one or several teeth. In its more advanced stages, surgery may be needed to fix damaged gums. During flap surgery, the periodontist makes a small incision in the gum, pulls back the gum flap, cleans out the infected, plaque-filled pocket, and stitches the gums back in place. Periodontal DiseaseCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Call Your Dentist

    Call your dentist if any of these occur:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, a lot of bleeding, or any unusual discharge from the surgical site(s)
    • Pain and swelling that is not controlled with medication or home care
    • Dressing or stitches have come loose or are uncomfortable
    • Loose tissue
    • Continued swelling after 48 hours
    • Other new symptoms, allergic reactions, or concerns
    • Persistent nausea and vomiting

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Periodontal disease refers to bacterial plaque and infections around the gum and tooth root. It can happen around one or several teeth. In its more advanced stages, surgery may be needed to fix damaged gums.

    During flap surgery, the periodontist makes a small incision in the gum, pulls back the gum flap, cleans out the infected, plaque-filled pocket, and stitches the gums back in place.

    Periodontal Disease

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    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    This surgery is needed when:

    • Deep infected pockets have formed and it is too hard to keep them clean
    • Gums around the teeth are damaged and cannot be fixed with nonsurgical techniques, like deep cleaning and medications

    This surgery slows the progression of periodontal disease by reducing deep pockets and bacterial growth. Periodontal disease can cause other health problems if not treated.

  • Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your dentist will review potential problems, like:

    • Tooth sensitivity
    • Changes in gum appearance
    • Bleeding
    • Reaction to the sedation
    • Infection
    • Gum swelling
    • Nausea and vomiting

    Before your procedure, talk to your dentist about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

    • Smoking
    • Drinking
    • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity