Surgical Treatment Options
For advanced periodontitis, surgical intervention may be your only option to save your teeth and gums. Without it, you could be at risk of losing teeth and other tissues or even the infection spreading into your bloodstream. In addition, this condition can be very painful and difficult to manage without professional treatment. At Glen Perio, we have three different surgical treatments for periodontitis; gingivectomy, pocket reduction surgery, and bone grafting.
A gingivectomy is the surgical removal of gingiva, commonly called gum tissue. This would need to occur in order to prevent pockets from forming that could house bacteria. In addition, removing gum tissue makes the teeth easier to clean. This procedure generally takes about thirty minutes to an hour and will involve a local anesthetic. Our periodontist will use either a scalpel or a laser to cut the gum tissue. Once it is removed, they will cauterize it using a heat source, most likely a laser. This prevents bleeding and blocks bacteria from getting into the incision. We will clean and bandage the incision. It is normal to feel sore for a few days, but your symptoms should clear up within a week.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Pocket reduction surgery is used to remove bacteria pockets that have formed below the gumline. Once again, a local anesthetic is used to keep you comfortable during the procedure. To begin, our periodontist makes an incision into your gum. They will lift your gum back to expose the bacteria pocket and remove the bacteria. After the pocket is cleaned, our periodontist will smooth out the gum surface and secure it in place. This procedure helps your gums heal and reattach to your teeth.
Advanced periodontitis can cause bone loss in the jaw. We work with various types of bone grafts to restore functioning and structure to these areas. Some of the most common types of bone grafts include xenograft tissue, autograft tissue, alloplast bone graft, allograft tissue, and growth factors.
Xenograft tissue is obtained from an animal source. Autograft tissue is taken from another site on your body. Alloplast bone grafts are synthetic materials used as traditional bone graft alternatives. Allograft tissue is bone donated from a deceased individual. Growth factors are a synthetic material used to encourage bone tissue regrowth.
Bone graft surgery generally takes between one and two hours. This whole process may require multiple procedures. For instance, you may need a separate surgery to remove a bone graft from another site on your body or you may need an initial procedure to clean the teeth and gums. During surgery, part of the unhealthy bone may need to be removed. Once the area is prepared, our periodontist will place your graft. These are held in place with screws, plates, or pins.
This procedure can take several months to recover from. We will give you advice on over-the-counter pain medication and other methods for symptom relief. You should also avoid smoking while you are healing. This can stunt bone growth and it would also be painful. Call Glen Perio at 224-488-3392 to ask about surgical periodontitis treatment options.