In order to correct or improve a problem with your gums that is affecting your periodontal health, sometimes a surgery is recommended. The choice of surgical technique depends on the type and severity of the disease, as well as existent conditions in your mouth.
Open flap debridement is a surgical periodontal treatment where the gums are cut to increase accessibility to the teeth for scaling and root planing. The main advantage in using this procedure is that visual access is obtained and therefore the thoroughness of the debridement (cleaning) is improved.
During the procedure the developed pockets in the gums are reduced, the gum tissue is then lifted or folded away from the tooth and surrounding bone and the diseased root surfaces are removed using the scaling and root planing procedure. The periodontist may also contour the remaining bone (osseous surgery) and attempt to regenerate lost bone and gingival attachment through bone grafts and guided tissue regeneration. Following the procedure the tissues are secured using few stitches and usually the area is covered with a putty-like packing material to protect the site for a week.
Although the pocket has been thoroughly cleaned, the gum may be returned to its original level. Frequent cleanings by the dentist are necessary to remove the plaque in the residual pocket that cannot be reached with flossing and brushing. Even when there is good oral hygiene and regular quarterly recalls, the bacteria may still continue to cause the pocket to become re-infected.