Osseous Surgery

General Information & Overview

Osseous surgery is recommended when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed. It is generally prescribed in cases that have not responded to nonsurgical treatment such as scaling and root planing. Osseous surgery is a traditional procedure that eliminates gum pockets by trimming away the infected gum tissue and diseased bone. The result is a healthier environment that promotes long-term maintenance and arrests the progression of periodontal disease.

The Procedure

Osseous surgery is performed to gain access to the diseased root and bone area, remove bacteria and infected gums, reduce pocketing and set the stage for periodontal health. The gum and jawbone are reshaped so that the gum tissue can adhere strongly to your teeth, allowing both you and your dental professionals to more effectively and completely remove plaque. During the procedure, the pockets are reduced or eliminated by moving the gum closer to the bone. As a consequence, the tooth may appear longer and the spaces between the teeth may be larger. Some temperature sensitivity is common after osseous surgery, but it typically lessens over time.

The procedure can be performed on one section of the mouth or for all diseased areas of the mouth at the same time. However, spreading out the surgical treatment of various areas in your mouth over a longer period of time is not desirable. Bacteria from untreated parts of your mouth can re-infect the treated areas.

The Benefits

Eliminating bacteria alone may not be sufficient to arrest the disease process. Reduced pockets paired with effective daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth and decrease the likelihood of serious systemic health problems associated with periodontal disease.

If left untreated, gum disease may lead to the development of:

  • cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and pre-term, low-birth-weight babies
  • More severe infection of bone and tissue
  • More extensive surgery to repair and treat the condition