Recommended For Gingival Flap Surgery
Gingival flap surgery is recommended for patients suffering from periodontal disease.
Not Recommended For Gingival Flap Surgery
Gingival flap surgery is not recommended for patients who have infected tooth or infected tooth roots. Also, patients with broken or fractured teeth should first resolve these issues before opting for this procedure. Any mobile teeth will have to be removed before undergoing a gingival flap surgery.
What is Gingival Flap Surgery? Gingival flap surgery, also known as periodontal flap surgery or period flap surgery for short, is a procedure in which the dentist separates the patient's gums from the teeth and fold them back for the duration of the procedure. This action will allow the dentist much-needed access to the root of the patient's teeth and the surrounding bone tissue. Gingival flap surgery, as opposed to other types of gum surgery, is mainly performed due to health concerns, whereas a gingivoplasty will be performed due to aesthetic reasons. The procedure itself can be coupled with other types of gum surgery, including:
- Gum graft surgery
- Pinhole gum surgery
Regardless if it is employed as a single operation or in conjunction with other procedures, gingival flap surgery is performed as a means to treat periodontal disease – the procedure allows the dentist to clear and clean any infectious pockets under the patient’s gum tissue.
The patient will need to have a set of dental x-rays done in order to have his teeth and gum tissue assessed by the dentist.
How It Is Performed
This surgery can be performed under local or partial anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure. The dentist will begin by administering local anesthetic in the affected region. The patient's gum tissue will then be separated from the teeth and the teeth roots. Once this part of the procedure is done, the dentist will remove all bacteria, tartar, and plaque from the area – these are commonly referred to as a "periodontal pocket". The periodontal pocket is an accumulation of bacteria under the patient's gums. Before closing any incisions, the dentist will carefully smooth the tooth’s roots in order to prevent further build-up.
Patients may feel moderate pain and discomfort after undergoing the procedure. The periodontist will prescribe painkillers for the recovery period. It’s important to maintain excellent oral hygiene after undergoing this procedure. The recovery period may last up to two weeks, and some patients may experience swelling during this time.
Gingival flap surgery risks and complications may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Gum recession
Side effects may include one or more of the following:
- Pain and discomfort
- Gum swelling
- Increased chance of developing root cavities
- Increased sensitive to hot and cold
The average success rate for gingival flap surgery as a means to treat periodontal disease is around 95%.
Before And After
Patients will have to check up with their doctor a week after the procedure. Intensive brushing is not advised in the treated area, but mouthwashes are recommended.
Does gingival flap surgery hurt?
The procedure itself is not painful, but patients will experience mild discomfort for up to a week after undergoing it.
When can I resume sports?
Patients can resume physical activities in around two weeks, once the incisions in the gums are properly healed.
When should the bleeding stop?
The bleeding should stop in the first 48 hours. If you experience bleeding after the first few days, contact your doctor.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in September, 2019.