It has become fairly common knowledge that the health of your gums plays a huge role in the health of your teeth. Yet few people have a thorough understanding of the various procedures that can be used to help maintain your gums. If you would like to increase your knowledge of periodontal health, read on. This article will answer three of the most common questions about the procedure known as pocket depth reduction.
What is pocket depth reduction?
First of all, it's important to understand just what a periodontal "pocket" really is. This term refers to the area between the edge of your gums and the place where they attach to your teeth. The pocket is a notoriously difficult place to keep clean, even with a regular practice of brushing and flossing. Over time, plaque and other bacteria can proliferate here to an unwanted--and unhealthy--degree.
Pocket depth reduction, also commonly referred to as periodontal flap surgery, is the procedure by which plaque, tartar, and other forms of buildup are removed from the pocket. It is, in essence, a deep cleaning of the area between your gum and the surface of your tooth. This acts to promote healthier gums, thereby reducing the depth of the periodontal pockets.
Who needs pocket depth reduction?
Pocket depth reduction is most commonly recommended for patients suffering from periodontitis. Because it is a somewhat invasive procedure, it is only used in cases where non-surgical gum disease treatments have proven unsuccessful at reducing the depth of the periodontal pockets. The goal is to reduce pockets to a healthy depth of 3 mm or less. When pockets are deeper than this, they cannot be adequately kept clean by brushing and flossing alone.
What does the depth reduction procedure consist of?
Pocket depth reduction surgery is usually performed by a periodontist, that is, a dentist with a specialization in treating the gums. First, an anesthetic will be applied, in order to numb the tissue and prevent discomfort. Careful incisions are made to the gums, which are then gently folded back from the teeth. This allows the periodontist to better access the roots of the teeth.
Once the pocket has been exposed in this manner, the doctor will use metal scalers and other dental tools to scrape plaque and tartar away from the surface of the tooth. Once the cleaning is complete, the gums are put back into place so that they directly touch the tooth. Dissolvable stitches are used to keep the gums in position until they have been able to reattach themselves to the tooth.
For more information, contact Bradley T Piotrowski DDS MSD LLC or a similar dental professional.