Following scaling and root planing, the periodontist will review the healing response of the gums. If inflammation and deep pockets persist, a flap surgery (pocket reduction procedure) may be performed to remove the residual tartar in the deep pockets that cannot be reached during the non-surgical root planing. This involves reflecting the gums to allow removal of the bacterial toxins on the root surface before securing the gums back to position. The gums will heal better and reattach to the clean and healthy root surface.
Deep pockets will not only hinder proper oral hygiene, they will also allow the disease-causing bacteria to hide and multiply, causing deterioration of the gums condition. This procedure will reduce the deep periodontal pockets and make it easier for the patient to perform self-cleansing on a daily basis. With the elimination of the deep pockets, coupled with good oral hygiene, the risk of losing teeth due to gum disease can be significantly lowered.