Periodontal surgery is an advanced and urgent treatment option for serious cases where the patient is losing bone mass and at risk of losing teeth. For important matters such as these, it is crucial that you choose an experienced and qualified dental professional so that the damage can be mitigated.
Dr. Forman and his team of dental professionals have been saving smiles from periodontal disease since 1998, having refined their treatment process after 17 years spent in close collaboration with talented periodontists.
Periodontal surgery is usually the last resort. When gum and periodontal disease either won’t respond to, or are too severe to be treated by other methods, surgery is used to correct the damage that’s been done. Very deep spaces will have developed between the gum and the tooth when the bone has eroded. These spaces become a reservoir for bacteria and are too deep to reach with other treatments. In these severe cases, if surgical treatment is not performed, the bacteria will further erode the bone and cause the eventual loss of teeth.
Periodontal surgery is designed to treat gum and periodontal disease. It also aids healing by removing excess, diseased tissue, and thoroughly cleaning all the tartar around the roots. Certain disease patterns allow for the addition of bone graft material to regrow any bone that’s been lost in specific areas.
Periodontal surgery is performed under local anesthetic and can be combined with sedation at the patients’ request. The gums are reflected to expose the deep areas around the teeth. These areas are then thoroughly cleaned of all plaque, tartar and inflamed tissue. The bone may be smoothed or shaped and excess gum tissue removed so that the gums heal with a smooth, healthy contour. This helps prevent plaque build-up and allows easier access for cleaning both by the patient and dental hygienist.
The gums will always heal higher on the top teeth and lower on the bottom teeth because the gums adhere to the bone. As a result you may see more tooth and more space between the teeth. This is a side effect when the gums heal after significant periodontal disease is treated.
What Pain Could I Experience?
The discomfort following periodontal surgery or bone grafting is comparable to having a tooth removed. Any discomfort is managed with pain medications such as Advil, Tylenol or Tylenol 3. In fact, most patients take pain medication immediately after the procedure and find that they don’t need it as early as the next day. Some amount of swelling can be expected along with minimal bruising. Overall, most patients describe the procedure as “much less painful than they expected”.
How Is Bone Grafting Done?
Bone grafting fills in areas where the bone has been eroded, forming “pot-holes” or “craters”. Once the craters are cleaned of inflammatory tissue, small bone granules are used to fill the space. A membrane to contain the bone may be placed over the hole, and the gums are then stitched back in place.
The bone granules used are either synthetic or procured from donors. These materials are completely safe and thoroughly sterilized, as well as tracked and regulated by Health Canada. There is no risk of disease transmission or other side effects from either type of material and this method has been used for decades.