Pocket Reduction

Basic Information

As you have probably learned by now, the main cause of periodontal disease is plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms around your teeth. If the plaque is not removed thoroughly, toxins or poisons produced by bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums and destroy supporting tissues around the teeth, forming pockets. Eventually the plaque harder’s into a rough deposit called calculus or tartar. Over time, as more plaque and calculus build up, the gums continue to pull away from the teeth. Gum and bone attachment to the teeth are lost and pockets deepen. Affected teeth can become loose and eventually be lost.

You cannot keep deep pockets clean and free of plaque just by brushing and flossing alone. The pockets may also be too deep for your dentist or hygienist to clean. Therefore, a pocket reduction procedure is necessary to remove the plaque and calculus below the gum line. The procedure will reduce the pockets and position the gums to minimize areas where disease-causing bacteria hide.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: How long does a pocket reduction procedure take?
A: The visit to perform the procedure is about 60-90 minutes long. The stitches are removed 7-10 days later in a 5-10 minute visit.

Q: Will the pocket reduction procedure hurt?
A: Only local anesthetic will be necessary to perform a Pocket Reduction Procedure. During the visit, you will feel nothing once the area has been numbed. When the local anesthetic wears off, there will be some mild discomfort. Medication will be prescribed to control any discomfort you might experience. It is advised that you take it easy on the day of the procedure. The procedure should not cause you to miss work.

Q: Will I be able to resume my normal activities after the procedure?
A: It is recommended that you limit your physical activity for 48 hours after the procedure. This means not doing anything that will raise your heart rate such as lifting heavy objects, exercising, etc.

Q: Will I be able to speak and eat normally after the procedure?
A: You should be able to speak normally after the anesthetic has worn off. It is best to wait until the anesthesia has worn off after surgery before eating. If you have trouble chewing, soft foods are recommended. Resume your normal diet as soon as possible; however, it is recommended that you avoid crunchy or spicy foods.

Q: Will I be able to drive myself home?
A: Unless you choose to take a relaxant, you should be able to drive yourself to and from your appointment. We are not going to impair your ability to drive.

Q: What can I do to control the disease?
A: Periodontal diseases are chronic diseases that require constant and careful attention. Like other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, there is no cure. Periodontal disease can and will recur if you do not follow a strict program of supportive periodontal therapy. You play the major role in preventing further progress of the disease. Nothing will help you maintain the results of professional treatment better than daily removal of plaque by proper brushing, flossing, and other leaning methods recommended for you.

Q: What are the benefits to me?
A: There are many health benefits to safeguarding your periodontal health. You can chew more comfortably, enjoy fresher breath and keep a healthy smile – always an asset to your appearance. For feeling and looking good, nothing works better than your natural teeth.