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Osseous Surgery/Pocket Reduction

Close up of healthy gums and pearly teethPatients who suffer from chronic periodontitis often develop separation between their teeth and gums. This separation is known as gum pockets. Severe pocket depths can leave your teeth without the support they need, oftentimes leading to the loss of the tooth. At Drs. Miller & Beitz Implants and Periodontics of Richmond, part of your restoration and recovery from gum disease includes closing these gaps through cleaning and then inducing a healing response from your body.

Osseous surgery, more often referred to as pocket reduction surgery, is a procedure we perform to rid the gum pockets of bacteria. When a patient suffers from continuing or chronic gum disease, the pockets deepen, allowing more bacteria a place to enter and hide. As the bacteria thrives in these pockets, they work to wear away at your gums and bone. Patients who choose to ignore these problems, or go untreated, are only continuing to allow the pockets to get deeper and more destructive until your tooth, and often bone, needs to be removed. Seeking dental care of a periodontist such as our team at Drs. Miller & Beitz Implants and Periodontics of Richmond can make a huge difference in your oral health.

What is Pocket Reduction Surgery?

The surgical reduction of your gum pockets may be necessary if gum pocket depth has reached an unhealthy level. Our team, or your family dentist, may first attempt cleaning the gums through scaling and root planing, but if the condition does not improve we may suggest this minimally invasive procedure.

Depending on the amount of work being completed, pocket reduction surgery often takes about two hours to complete. We will begin with ensuring your comfort. Most patients find a local aesthetic to be sufficient, but we have other conscious sedation options when needed.

Gum Pocket Reduction surgery generally consists of:
•  Opening Gum Tissue: Once the patient is comfortable, we will open the tissue at the base of the tooth to reveal the pocket beneath.
•  Clean and Remove Bacteria: With the tissue open, we can then see and remove any plaque, debris, or bacteria that is causing the infection.
•  Smooth: Once the area is clean, we then smooth any areas where the bone has become damaged or altered in shape causing irregularities.
•  Restore: Sometimes, we may find the bone to be severely damaged. If that's the case, we may implement a regeneration technique including a bone graft and guided tissue regeneration.
•  Close: With the bacteria removed, and regenerative steps in motion, we can then close the gum tissue with a periodontal dressing for healing.

In some cases, we may recommend bone grafts or skin grafts to create new tissue. Grafts can be made using a tiny sample of your own tissue, from donated tissue, or from synthetic tissue. We can discuss these options with you prior to surgery.

Your gum tissue plays an important role in your oral health. Gum disease can cause a lot of damage, including the loss of your teeth. Studies show that a majority of adults suffer from some level of gum disease, and we can help. Osseous surgery generally has a high rate of success. To learn more or schedule a consultation with Drs. Miller & Beitz Implants and Periodontics of Richmond today, call us at (804) 285-4867.
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