A local anesthetic is used to numb the area for surgery.
First, the periodontist will separate the gums from your teeth to gain access to the roots and bone. The roots will be thoroughly cleaned. The holes (defects) in the bone will be filled in with a graft material. Then they will be covered with a physical barrier.
Bone grafting materials commonly used include bits of:
Barriers are used to cover the grafting material in the early stages of healing. They also prevent the gums from growing into the bony defect. Barriers are made from human skin, cow skin or synthetic materials.
After the graft is in place, the gums will be put back over the treated site and stitched into place. The site also may be covered with a bandage known as a periodontal pack or dressing.
During the next six to nine months, your body fills in the area with new bone and soft tissue. In effect, this reattaches the tooth to your jaw.
It is very important for you to keep your mouth as clean as possible while you heal. This means you should brush and floss the rest of your mouth normally. If you don't have a periodontal pack over the surgical site, you can use a toothbrush to gently remove plaque from the teeth.
Mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine are commonly prescribed after periodontal surgery. These rinses do not remove plaque from the teeth. However, they slow down the growth of plaque by killing the bacteria and helping your mouth heal.
You may also have some swelling after surgery. You can reduce swelling by applying an ice pack to the outside of your face in the treated area. Antibiotics usually are prescribed to prevent an infection. Be sure to take them as instructed. Your periodontist will want to examine you in 7 to 10 days.
Your gums in the area that was treated are more likely to recede over time. The teeth that were treated may become more sensitive to heat and cold. They may develop cavities in the roots.