What is Surgical Periodontal Therapy?

Surgical Periodontal Therapy is the re-contouring of gum and bone to decrease the risk of further periodontal disease. Surgical procedures are designed to either remove diseased gum and bone for better cleaning access or to build missing tissue back to a healthier state.

What materials are used in Surgical Periodontal Therapy?

  • Anesthetic (numbing medication) and stitches are used for most surgical procedures
  • To build back gum and bone, donor tissue is required. This gum or bone tissue may come from another part of the patient’s own body, or from a donor person or animal – all donor graft material is sterilized for safety
  • Antibiotics and mouth rinses are often used after surgery during the healing period

What are the benefits of Surgical Periodontal Therapy?

The possible benefits of surgical periodontal therapy include:

  • Removal of plaque and tartar in previously inaccessible areas
  • Elimination of hard-to-maintain periodontal pockets
  • Improvement of function and appearance

What are the risks of Surgical Periodontal Therapy?

Some potential risks following treatment include:

  • Tenderness of the gums for a period of time
  • Increased temperature sensitivity of the teeth for a period of time
  • Shrinkage of gums which may lead to longer looking teeth, more root sensitivity, increased spaces between teeth the near gum line and altered aesthetics
  • If gum and bone are being built back, they may shrink or slough off during healing and the procedure may need to be redone
  • All surgical procedures carry a small risk of infection

What are the alternatives to Surgical Periodontal Therapy?

The alternatives to surgical periodontal therapy are non-surgical periodontal therapy and no treatment. It is important to understand that non-surgical periodontal therapy does not replace surgical periodontal therapy. If you do not manage your disease by adopting appropriate periodontal therapies, you must recognize the risk of further periodontal infection and ultimately tooth loss.

Are there any limitations after Surgical Periodontal Therapy?

After periodontal surgery you should not use hard toothbrushes or other dental hygiene aids that may irritate the surgical site. Post-treatment limitations during healing include doing your best not to chew or put forces on the surgical site. As with any wound healing, a faster result with fewer complications will occur if the surgery sight is left unharmed.

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