To print: Use your web browser's print feature. Close this window after printing.

Flap Procedure for Gum Disease


Table of Contents


Flap Procedure for Gum Disease

Surgery Overview

You may need surgery for severe gum disease (periodontitis) if it cannot be cured with antibiotics or root planing and scaling. A flap procedure cleans the roots of a tooth and repairs bone damage caused by gum disease. A gum specialist (periodontist) or an oral surgeon often performs the procedure.

Before the procedure, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area where the doctor will work on your gums.

The doctor will pull back a section of your gums to clean the roots of your teeth and repair damaged bone, if needed. The gum flap will be sewn back into place and covered with gauze to stop the bleeding.

Bone may be:

What To Expect After Surgery

Typically it takes only a few days to recover from a flap procedure. Be sure to follow the home care instructions that your dentist or oral surgeon gives you. If you have questions about your instructions, call the dentist or surgeon. The following are general suggestions to help speed recovery:

A few days after the procedure, your dentist will remove the stitches.

Why It Is Done

The flap procedure is necessary when severe gum disease (periodontitis) has damaged the bones that support your teeth.

How Well It Works

If you maintain good dental care after the surgery, the flap procedure should allow you to clean your teeth and gums better. Your gums should become pink and healthy again.

Risks

The roots of your teeth may become more sensitive.

The contour or shape of your gums may change.

Gum surgery can introduce harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Gum tissue is also at risk of infection. You may need to take antibiotics before and after surgery if you have a condition that puts you at high risk for a severe infection or if infections are particularly dangerous for you. You may need to take antibiotics if you:

What To Think About

Complete the surgery information form (PDF) to help you prepare for this surgery.

Credits for Flap Procedure for Gum Disease

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry
Last Revised May 29, 2013

Note: The "printer friendly" document will not contain all the information available in the online document. Some information (e.g. cross-references to other topics, definitions or medical illustrations) is only available in the online version.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.