Flap Surgery

Flap surgery, as the name signifies, is a dental procedure done by periodontists to flip the gingival flap, expose the root and perform cleaning and reconstructive procedures. This will help to minimize and remove any periodontal pockets. Now to understand flap surgery, we should first know what periodontal pockets are?

Periodontal pockets

Pocket formation is due to inflammation and dental infection that causes the gums to separate from teeth thereby giving enough space for bacteria to invade. Periodontal pockets can affect single or multiple teeth. Initially scaling and root planing is advised to remove pockets but if that doesn’t work then flap surgery is recommended.

Objectives of periodontal surgery

  • Elimination of pockets
  • Regeneration of periodontal tissues
  • Helping in maintaining good oral hygiene
  • Reviving the aesthetics

Objectives of periodontal surgeryPeriodontal Flap surgery

Prior history

Brief patient’s history is important before undergoing the procedure. History sheet includes:

  • Smoking or drinking habits including the number of years.
  • Any previous or undergoing medications.
  • History of any allergy.
  • Family history of any diseases like diabetes, bleeding disorder etc.

Periodontal Flap surgeryPre-surgical procedure

Initially the patient will be guided to dental hygienists where minor procedures like scaling (removal of plaque and calculus) will be done. This is done to ensure proper oral hygiene

Flap surgery procedure

Flap surgery is done under local anesthesia. After applying local anesthesia, gums are gradually separated from tooth (done using a scalpel). Then the flap separated in folded back to get direct and clear access to the roots and bones embracing teeth.

Now the inflamed and infected part is removed from the periodontium. Any residual deep calculus is removed from the tooth as well. In case of any bone defects, osseous recontouring is done using the burs to smoothen any rough edges of the bone.

After the procedure is done, the retracted flap is placed back in the position and suturing is done using dissolvable sutures. Finally the dressing is done.

Guided tissue regeneration

It is the procedure of placing a barrier membrane in between the gums and periodontium. It prevents the growth of unwanted gingival cells and accelerates the healing of periodontium. After a specific time when periodontium has re-gained its original shape, the membrane auto-dissolves, leaving behind the healthy tissues.

Follow up care

Do take care of the below mentioned points to prevent any discomfort post procedure:

  • Avoid driving immediately after the procedure. Take adequate rest.
  • Start the medications as prescribed by your periodontist.
  • Apply ice pack on the surgical part as it will reduce the post-procedural swelling and pain.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking soft drinks using straw as it can create a negative pressure thereby dislodging the clot formed.
  • If you notice continuous abnormal discharge, please call your dentist.
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene and regularly floss your teeth as there are chances for bacterial to grow.
  • Rinsing should be done using an antibacterial mouthwash.

Follow up care