Periodontal Surgery—Open Flap
Periodontal disease refers to bacterial plaque and infections around the gum and tooth root. It can happen around one or several teeth. In its more advanced stages, surgery may be needed to fix damaged gums.
During flap surgery, the periodontist makes a small incision in the gum, pulls back the gum flap, cleans out the infected, plaque-filled pocket, and stitches the gums back in place.
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This surgery is needed when:
- Deep infected pockets have formed and it is too hard to keep them clean
- Gums around the teeth are damaged and cannot be fixed with nonsurgical techniques, like deep cleaning and medications
This surgery slows the progression of periodontal disease by reducing deep pockets and bacterial growth. Periodontal disease can cause other health problems if not treated.
Last reviewedSeptember 2013by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.