Flap surgery or gingival flap surgery is part of the periodontal surgery in which the gum is separated from the teeth and temporarily folded. This is done so that the dentist can reach the root of a tooth and bone.
As part of the periodontal surgery, gingival flap surgery is used to treat gum disease. Patients with moderate or advanced periodontitis are recommended for this treatment procedure. Typically, the periodontist will perform procedures such as scaling and root planning before proceeding to gingival surgery. So the idea is that if the condition is cured with scaling and planning, surgery of the flap will not be required. At quality dental care, we have well-experienced periodontist to perform flap surgery and we have recorded a dental flap surgery success rate.
What Is Flap Surgery?
Gingival flap surgery is a procedure in which the gums are separated from the teeth and temporarily folded to allow a dentist to reach the root of the tooth and bone.
What It’s Used For?
Gingival surgery is used to treat gums (periodontitis). It may be recommended for people with moderate or advanced periodontitis, especially if the initial non-surgical treatment (scaling and root planning) has not eliminated the infection of the gums. It can also be done in conjunction with another procedure called bone surgery (bone).
Firstly, our dental hygienist or periodontist will remove plaque & calculus from your teeth and make sure that the oral hygiene is good. Prior to surgery, our periodontist will determine whether your general health or current medications allow for surgery.
Periodontal Surgery: The Procedure
To begin with the gingival flap surgery, the dentist will clean the plaque and tartar areas around your teeth. He/she will also check your oral hygiene and evaluate your health. This is a part of the standard procedure so that you do not have any complications. The area to be treated is injected by anesthesia. After this, the periodontist will elevate the gum of the teeth using the scalpel. After elevation , the gum will be folded like a flap; hence the surgical name of the gingival component. Once the gum is folded, a clear access to the roots and bones that support the teeth is observed.
Infected tissue is removed, and then the periodontal surgeon will perform a procedure called scaling and root planning. This helps to clean plaque and tartar. All visible bone defects will be removed by a periodontal surgeon. This procedure is called bone recontour and the edges of the bone are smoothened using files.
Once all this is done, the gums will be placed back and seen so that they can fit perfectly to the teeth. Your periodontist will cover the treated area with a dressing called a periodontal dressing or pack. At the initial days, you will feel a slight discomfort due to the procedure and stitches. Usually, surgeons use stitches that dissolve by themselves or you will need to visit your dentist within 10 days to remove the stitches. It is extremely important for you to maintain proper oral hygiene. Your dentist will prescribe you antibiotics and analgesics, so make sure to take them as prescribed. In case you have a little swelling, apply ice to the area.
Follow-Up after Surgery
You will definitely have the mild to moderate discomfort after the flap surgery, but we will prescribe pain medications to control it. Many people are comfortable with just an over-the-counter pain reliever.
It is very important for you to keep your mouth as clean as possible while the surgical site heals. This means that you should brush and have the rest of your mouth treated normally. If the surgical site is not covered by a periodontal pack, you can use a toothbrush to gently remove the plaque from the teeth.
Antimicrobial mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine are commonly prescribed after periodontal surgery. Though these rinses do not retain the teeth plaque, they kill the bacteria and help your mouth heal.
You might observe a swelling which can be minimized by applying an ice bag outside the face in the treated area. In some situations, antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection and these should be taken as directed. Your periodontist will want to review the area within 7 to 10 days.
Risks after Surgery
After the surgery, you may have some bleeding and swelling. There is a risk that you can develop an infection.
Your gums in the treated area will recover over time. The teeth that were treated may become more sensitive to hot and cold. The teeth are also more likely to develop cavities.
When to Call a Professional
It is normal to experience discomfort or pain and minor bleeding during the first 48 hours following the procedure. These symptoms usually disappear after few days. Visit your dentist if the bleeding continues or if the symptoms persist even after the first three days. This can be caused by an infection that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.
Learn More about Your Dental Care Options
If you would like more information about surgical procedures for gum disease, please contact us or make an appointment for a consultation. The Quality Dental team is here to help you improve your dental health and well-being.