Periodontal disease causes destruction of bone and gum tissue around teeth which results in the formation of pockets. Periodontal therapy typically involves several phases of treatment. Initial therapy is directed at patient education and disease elimination. Phase two therapy involves surgical intervention to further correct and improve the long term prognosis of the diseased area. Two distinctly different forms of surgical therapy include osseous surgical therapy or regenerative surgical therapy. Osseous surgery involves folding back of the gum tissue so that the periodontist may modify and reshape deformities in the bone, surrounding teeth, and remove disease-causing bacteria that live beneath the gums. Once the flap of gum tissue is placed back over the bone, sutures are placed to facilitate the adherence of the gums to the healthy bone. Regenerative surgical therapy is utilized to regenerate lost bone and periodontal ligament to improve long term prognosis.
Once periodontal treatment is completed, maintenance visits, along with good home care, will allow a patient to keep his or her teeth and gums healthy and prevent further periodontal problems. Periodontal maintenance visits include thorough cleaning to remove any accumulated bacteria, encouragement in home care, and yearly measuring of pocket depths. This type of procedure takes very little time to complete, and discomfort following the procedure is rare.