Pocket Reduction / Osseous Surgery

Osseous surgery is a periodontal procedure to treat more advanced periodontal disease by removing deformities of the alveolar bone surrounding your teeth that has been damaged by periodontitis. Your periodontist performs osseous surgery to reduce or eliminate periodontal pockets.

When you have active periodontal disease, your immune system responds with inflammation that is prompted by harmful bacteria and can lead to bone loss in your jawbone that holds your teeth in place.  Without healthy supporting bone, your teeth can become loose and be lost to gum disease.  

Even worse, damaged bone can attract more harmful bacterial that can spread neighboring areas of your mouth and spread the damage.  The good news is that osseous surgery can achieve goals to improve your oral health.


Reducing spread of disease:  By treating the affected area, osseous surgery reduces the risk of periodontal disease to other areas of your mouth.

  • Reducing risk of further bone loss:  By treating the affected bone and correcting the deformities of damaged bone, osseous surgery.
  • Facilitating your homecare:  By reducing deep periodontal gum pockets, you will have easier access to cleaning your teeth and gums, which will keep harmful bacteria from causing future damage.
  • Improving your smile: By improving the health of your gums, you improve your smile.  Gums that are afflicted with periodontal disease are often unsightly because they are red & swollen. This can make you feel too self-conscious to smile.  

With the help of osseous surgery, you will feel better about your regained oral health!


Osseous surgery is done in the periodontist’s office using local anesthesia just like when you get numb for a filling at your dentist.  Once you are completely numb and comfortable, your periodontist will make small incisions in your gum to allow access to the damaged and infected areas of your gums, bone & roots of your teeth.  

First, your tooth roots will be completely cleaned to rid them of bacteria that is clinging and smoothed to make your roots more resistant to future bacterial invasion.  Next, your periodontist will use special tools to reshape the bone around the teeth and gently remove infected areas to create a healthier shape of the bone.  If bony defects are severe, bone grafting materials may be placed to encourage new bone growth.

Once the area is cleaned and reshaped, your gums will be sutured into a healthy position and covered with a special periodontal bandage that will protect the area and keep you more comfortable as the site heals. 

Following the procedure, your periodontist and surgical assistant will give you personalized post-op instructions and answer any questions.  You will need to return for a post-op appointment two weeks later.  During the two-week healing period, you may be advised to eat a soft diet and avoid brushing the treated area.  In two weeks, your sutures will be removed if they have not dissolved and the area will be checked by a surgical assistant.  Approximately 4-6 weeks later, your periodontist will see you for a final check of the site.

Our desire is to keep you comfortable during the procedure and keep discomfort at a minimum, which can be achieved by carefully following your post-op instructions.  Our goal is to help you achieve a healthier smile!