A guide to osseous bone surgery for periodontitis

What is osseous surgery?

Osseous surgery is a procedure that reshapes the bones that hold your teeth in place. It is usually a treatment for a gum disease like periodontitis. People with periodontitis develop holes in the bones that surround their teeth. These are referred to as defects. It is a procedure that is often used to treat bone loss around several teeth.

How do you prepare for osseous surgery?

You have to go through initial periodontal therapy before you have your actual surgical appointment. You may have to undergo scaling and root planing first. You must have good oral hygiene as well. Local anaesthetics will be used to numb the area that will be operated on.

How is osseous surgery performed?

Your periodontist will separate your gums and your teeth so that there is access to the roots and surrounding bone. After your roots have been cleaned thoroughly, a drill and maybe some other sharp hand instruments will be used to reshape the bones around your teeth. Bone is removed in some of the areas so that the rise and fall of the bony cup is turned to normal although at a lower level. You can imagine a scarf being frayed on one edge and simply trimming the frayed part. The damage will be gone and the scarf will be shorter. The gums will be placed back over the remaining bone and they will be stitched back together.

What follow-ups are done after the osseous surgery?

Usually, pain medications are prescribed after the surgery. You must keep your mouth as clean as possible while you are healing. You should brush your teeth and floss normally on the sites that aren’t affected by the surgery. You can use a toothbrush to carefully remove plaque from your teeth. You may have to get an antimicrobial mouth rinse that contains chlorexidine. It is usually prescribed after periodontal surgery. These rinses will not completely remove plaque from your teeth but they will help in killing bacteria and help in the healing process.

There may be some swelling after the surgery so use an ice pack outside of your face over the treated area. In some situations, antibiotics are given before, during, and after the treatment in order to prevent any infections. Your periodontist will check the surgical area after a week or two and remove any periodontal packs.

What are the risks associated with osseous surgery?

There may be some bleeding and some swelling after the surgery and there is a risk that they could lead to an infection. The gums in the area that was treated have a greater chance of receding over time. Teeth may become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. You may also develop cavities in the roots of your teeth.

When should you call a periodontist ?

You should call your periodontist if you have excessive bleeding that refuses to stop. Call your dentist if the surgical area swells up and causes pain. An infection may be developing so inform your periodontist about it immediately. Your periodontist will monitor you closely after the surgery for about a month.