Periodontics & Dental Implants
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Dental Pocket Reduction Surgery

Dental (periodontal) pockets are areas beneath the gums that often harbor bacterial colonies. This can lead to many serious dental problems. The gums can become tender and inflamed. They may bleed easily upon brushing or flossing and may have moderate to extreme root sensitivity. Left untreated these bacterial colonies can cause pus formation, bone deterioration and ultimately tooth loss. Good oral hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the development of infected periodontal pockets, which are the markers of periodontal disease.

Our dental team at Century City Periodontics in Los Angeles is committed to educating our patient's in all aspects of preventative maintenance. But after deep pockets have developed and other avenues explored often the best approach is surgical intervention in the form of pocket reduction surgery. This can prevent further advancement of the disease and it may also repair much of the damage already done. Following pocket reduction surgery frequent full mouth cleanings and a vigilant personal brushing and flossing routine can keep further problems in check.


The Procedure
Pocket reduction surgery is generally performed by the periodontist under a local anesthetic. Some patients may prefer to have additional sedation which can be offered. The surgery involves gently pulling back the gum tissue and removing all the bacteria, plaque and tartar found there. It is often necessary to smooth any rough areas of the bone to encourage the proper reattachment of the gum tissue.



 
Normal looking gingival (gums).   Normal bone levels.

 
Bone loss and increased pocket depths.   Pocket depth evaluation shows unmanageable results.

 
Bone levels recorder. Incisions to separate gingival from the teeth.   Periosteal elevator used to move the gingival away from the teeth and bone.

 
The flap is retracted and the teeth are cleaned and scaled.   The flap (gum tissue) is placed back against the teeth and bone but at a lower level than before. The flap is sutured into place.

 
Protective packing is placed over the area to help with healing (coepack).   The gums heal in the new position.

   
Pocket evaluation reveals pocket reduction. Bone levels recorded.    



Once the bacteria are removed and the bone prepared, the gum tissue is secured around the teeth with tiny stitches. These stitches may be self dissolving or they may need to be removed depending on the area involved. Follow-up appointments are usually scheduled at one and three week intervals after the surgery. The professional staff at Century City Periodontics is always available to assist and inform at every stage of treatment.

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