What Is Flap surgery?

Gingival flap surgery is a type of surgical gum procedure. The gums are flipped away from the teeth and folded back temporarily. This allows us to reach the root of the tooth and the bone.

When It is recommended?

Gingival flap surgery is used to treat gum disease (periodontitis). It may be recommended for people with moderate or advanced periodontitis. Usually, a treatment that doesn't involve surgery is done first. This is either scaling and root planning or Closed debridement. If this treatment does not eliminate the gum infection, gingival flap surgery may be used. It also may be done along with another procedure known as osseous (bone) surgery.

Is there any procedure before one can go for flap surgery?

We will first remove all plaque and tartar (calculus) from around your teeth. We will make sure that your oral hygiene is good. More important is that you are capable of maintaining a good oral hygiene by following the home instructions. We will evaluate your health and the medicines you take. This is important to make sure that surgery is safe for you.

How It is Done?

Under local anesthesia, we will use a scalpel to separate the gums from the teeth. They will be lifted or folded back in the form of a flap. This gives us a direct access to the roots and bone supporting the teeth.

Inflamed tissue will be removed from between the teeth and from any defects in the bone. Then we will do a procedure called scaling and root planing to clean plaque and tartar. If you have bone defects, we may do osteolasty or osteoectomy to eliminate them. It smoothes the edges of the bone using files or rotating burs.

Finally, the gums will be placed back against the teeth and stitched in place. Stitches have to be removed a week to 10 days later. We may cover the surgical site with a bandage. This is called a periodontal pack or dressing.

You will have mild to moderate discomfort after the procedure. We prescribe antibiotics and pain medicine to control infection and pain.

It is very important for you to keep your mouth as clean as possible while the surgical site is healing. This means you should brush and floss the rest of your mouth normally. If the surgical site is not covered by a periodontal pack, you can use a soft toothbrush to gently remove plaque from the teeth. Antimicrobial mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine are often prescribed after gum surgery. These rinses kill bacteria, delay plaque growth and help your mouth to heal.

You may have some swelling. This can be reduced if you apply an ice pack to the outside of your face in the treated area. Your recall visit is in 7 to 10 days.

Are there any Risks in the surgery?

After the surgery, you may have some bleeding and swelling. There is a risk that you could develop an infection. Antibiotic and analgesics drastically reduce the chances of infection. So, you need to follow prescription.

Your gums in the area that was treated are more likely to recede over time. This recession brings the gingival in correct relationship with bone, there by decreasing the chances of future development of periodontal disease.

The teeth that were treated may become more sensitive to hot and cold for a short period of time. It subsides by itself or by using a medicated tootpaste for few days.