Cleaning flap surgery is normally carried out as a second treatment for periodontitis, provided that the patient’s oral cleaning habits are appropriate for the disease. It is applied when the curettage, carried out without lifting the gum flap, has failed to solve the problem.
The objective of this treatment is complete access to the roots of your teeth, and to the bone around them for the purposes of their effective cleaning. On lifting a cleaning flap we obtain a direct view of the surface we are cleaning, something we don’t have when proceeding with curettage of the periodontal pockets, where we clean the roots using our sense of touch.
The operation is carried out with local anaesthesia. We lift a flap of gum to reveal the roots of the tooth, enabling us to completely clean the roots of your teeth. We remove any tissue affected by chronic infection and all of the tartar from the periodontal pockets. Sometimes we have to shape the bone around your teeth in order to ensure that your gum will subsequently properly attach to the clean surface.
We give you as many stitches as are required to keep your gum in place, while enabling accessible and adequate cleaning of your teeth and gums.
The main consequence is that the periodontitis will not come back if you take proper care of your mouth. To guarantee that care, you must brush your teeth correctly and as recommended, after every meal. You must use interdental brushes with a specific toothpaste and mouthwash for delicate gums. At our surgery we will explain the best solutions. Correct care will also require us to clean your teeth twice yearly for maintenance purposes.
If you are a smoker, it is essential that you stop smoking. If you can’t, we’ll do what we can to deal with the situation.
After cleaning surgery, you may find that your teeth move more than they should; but this will be temporary. It is a normal and frequent consequence, and is part of the healing process.
Surgical cleaning or flap treatment means that we can treat severe periodontitis or pyorrhoea.
You may also find that your gums have slightly receded once the swelling and infection have been cured. Sometimes the root of your tooth will be more visible and the tooth itself may look longer. Remember that if you don’t have cleaning surgery, your gum will simply continue to recede. We may find in certain cases that we can improve the resulting appearance with crowns or porcelain veneers.
Lastly, sometimes your teeth may feel more sensitive to hot and cold, but this is passing and can be relieved by using a special gel, toothpaste or mouthwash.
Thanks to this surgical treatment, we will prevent severe periodontitis from leading to tooth loss with the problems this implies.