Gum Flap Surgery
If you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from Periodontitis, you may be feeling lost and a little overwhelmed when it comes to treatment options. Instead of feeling lost, head to one of our offices for a treatment plan that is custom to you.Dr. Scharf is one of the best board certified Periodontists for surgical (and nonsurgical) Periodontal treatments. In fact, Dr.Scharf is one of the only periodontists in the area that is certified by the board of periodontists. His gum flap surgery in Long Island is said to be one of the most effective for patients suffering from severe Periodontitis.
Periodontitis is caused when severe gingivitis is left untreated for long and extensive periods of time. Gingivitis occurs when bacterial plaque finds its way between your gum line and your teeth causing moderate (and sometimes) severe dental infections. Typically, Periodontitis shows up first as Gingivitis and then progresses. In fact, in most cases, those suffering from Gingivitis rarely even know that they have it. Leaving them quite surprised when suddenly diagnosed with Periodontitis. Common symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis are: red, puffy gums that bleed easily, and mouth pain. Although you may not know you have the disease, if you suspect that you do, it’s incredibly important that you receive treatment as soon as possible. When left untreated, patients can develop an even more serious form of the disease and may end up losing multiple teeth
Those with suspected, or diagnosed Periodontitis (or even just mild gingivitis) have a few treatment options ranging from the Pinhole Surgery technique, Laser Periodontal Therapy (LANAP), and finally, Gum Flap Surgery. Dr. Scharf’s other procedures are non surgical, and relatively non-invasive.
Gum Flap Surgery is an in-office procedure in which Dr. Scharf separates the infected or inflamed gum tissue from the teeth to treat and remove a variety of bacterial infections. Additionally, Dr. Scharf may correct any bone defects on the surface of your teeth with a procedure called recontouring. With gum flap surgery, you’ll leave our offices with a better smile, all around!
Of course, a non-surgical technique for less severe cases of Periodontitis is often attempted first ( see the LANAP page!) but if the gum infection doesn’t subside, gum flap surgery may be recommended.
When undergoing Gum Flap Surgery in Long Island, patients can expect to have the plaque scraped off their teeth (similar as you would in a regular tooth cleaning) followed by an injection of local anesthesia. Once your mount is fully numbed, Dr. Scharf (or another periodontist) will use a small scalpel to separate gum tissue from the teeth. Next, Dr. Sharf will remove inflamed gum or tooth tissue, and perform a surgery called “root planing and scaling.” This procedure cleans up any plaque or tartar below the surface of the gum line. When the teeth are cleaned and restored, gum tissue will then be stitched back into place.
Unless self-dissolving are used, expect to make a return trip to our Long Island offices within 7 days to have your dental stitches removed, and a follow-up exam conducted. Additionally, patients may be sent home wearing a “periodontal pack” or small bandage placed on sensitive areas of the surgical site. This bandage should be left in place for as long as our team recommends.
After surgery, patients can expect to feel minor pain or discomfort. If you are suffering from a severe cases of pain, be sure to call our offices for treatment recommendations. However, most patients find that an over-the-counter pain pill will treat pain from the dental surgery just fine.
In most cases, an antibiotic may be prescribed to combat any post-surgical infections that your mouth is bound to be exposed to. It is extremely important that those recovering complete the full course of antibiotics, or a harmful infection may pop up and delay your healing time. Swelling is often a side effect of gum flap surgery, but this symptom is easily treatable with an ice packs. Most patients like to use packages of frozen vegetables because they are so soft and flexible.
Depending on the severity of your case, you may be prescribed a mouthwash post surgery to keep the area clean and more importantly, plaque free. It’s important to only use prescribed mouthwashes because they contain an important ingredient called chlorhexidine that helps to speed up recovery. Over the counter mouthwash may harm the natural healing cycle of your mouth. Talk to Dr. Scharf about post-op care before you leave our offices, because it may be decided on a patient to patient basis.
Patients should avoid eating hot foods and avoid rinsing the mouth for the first 24 hours after surgery. Keep away from chewy, spicy, or brittle foods. These could dislodge your stitches and cause an infection. Eat foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, or scrambled eggs for the next 7-10 days following your surgery, and stay away from spicy foods until the stitches have healed. Remember: it’s important to disrupt the surgical site as infrequently as possible.
If you’ve recently had gum flap surgery, make sure you call our offices at 631-604-4425 if you experience any of the following symptoms as they may be sign of an infection that needs prompt treatment:
- Continual bleeding after the first 48 hours of surgery.
- Swelling after the first 48 hours of surgery.
- Dry sockets due to straw usage
- Extreme pain (this may be sign of a dental infection)
- If your periodontal pack or surgery dressings come undone before instructed.
If you feel like you may be a good candidate for Gum Flap Surgery, or you feel like you may have Periodontitis, protect your teeth (and your overall health!) by calling our offices today. Dr. Scharf has had years of experience in the Periodontal field, receiving honors from Boston University as well as logging over 2,400 hours of continuing dental education. If you are looking for someone who knows their stuff, it’s definitely Dr. Scharf. Dr. Scharf is one of the very best Periodontists in Long Island, and he and his team are committed to making your Gum flap surgery as pain free and comfortable as possible.