It is usually recommended for advanced cases of periodontitis where due to deep pockets (>5 mm) complete removal of the irritants from root surface of the tooth is not possible by scaling alone due to the deep penetration of the deposits.
The procedure involves incision and reflection of the gums by 1-1 1/2 mm and debriding the area under local anesthesia with direct visualization of the deposits. The wound is then sutured up. In certain cases however it is possible to regrow the lost bone by use of certain artificial bone substitutes called Bone grafts. Such cases provide the ideal outcome of therapy by regenerating the lost tissues. .
The procedure is completely painless and involves minimum post-operative pain or discomfort. Usually one half of one jaw or may be half mouth is performed in one sitting. Once the procedure is completed , the patient is educated about the correct method of oral hygiene regimen for daily care.
The procedure cleans up the root surface and ensures firm attachment of gum tissue to teeth. It might not be possible to regenerate all lost bone in every case. However, it definitely prolongs the life of the teeth by resolving all inflammation.
It is imperative for all patients who have undergone flap surgery to be on a regular maintenance protocol wherein routine checking and scaling(if needed) is performed to prevent recurrence. This interval may vary from 1-6 months depending on the individual needs.