A local anesthetic is used to numb the area for surgery.
First, the dentist will cut around each tooth in the area being treated to release the gum tissue from the bone. This allows access to the roots and bone. After the roots have been cleaned, the dentist will use a drill and sharp hand tools to reshape the bone around the teeth. Bone is removed in certain areas to restore the normal rise and fall (contour) of the bone, but at a lower level. Sometimes a bone grafting material also may be placed in large defects.
The dentist then will place the gums back over the remaining bone and stitch them in place. The site also may be covered with a bandage known as a periodontal pack or dressing.
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 slow down the growth of plaque by killing bacteria. They also help the wound heal without infection.
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. In some situations, you may get a prescription for antibiotics to prevent an infection. Be sure to take them as instructed. Your dentist or periodontist will want to examine the area again in 7 to 10 days.
Your gums in the area that was treated are more likely to recede over time. As a result, the treated teeth will look longer. The teeth that were treated may become more sensitive to heat and cold. They may develop cavities in the roots if you do not take good care of your teeth and gums.