Osseous Surgery: 10 Things to Know

A healthy mouth has a 1-3 millimeters space between the gum and the base of the teeth. When this space increases, bacteria can build up in the pocket that forms, leading to gum disease. When this space exceeds 5 millimeters, professional cleaning won’t suffice. In such cases, osseous surgery can be the solution you need.

Discover what osseous surgery is and everything you need to know about it.

1. What Is Osseous Surgery?

Osseous surgery is a surgical procedure designed to treat periodontal disease. It specifically treats advanced gum disease that causes bone loss and, eventually, tooth loss.

The surgery involves accessing and removing the affected gum tissue and underlying bone to remove calculus and heavy bacteria. The goal is to eliminate infection and reshape the bone to encourage healthy tissue.  Keep in mind that osseous surgery physically removes the layer of infected gum and bone to result in a layer of healthy tissue.

2. Pocket Reduction

The term “pocket”  is the area between the tooth and the gums with the bone underneath supporting them. In the presence of disease, these pockets become deep, collecting bacteria and harboring disease.

Through osseous surgery, dentists reduce the depth of periodontal pockets and eliminate bacterial buildup. The surgery helps prevent supporting structures of the teeth, like the jaw bone and connective tissues, from further damage.

3. Who Can Undergo Osseous Surgery?

Your dentist or periodontist will decide if you’re suitable for osseous surgery. Individuals with moderate to severe gum disease, characterized by deep periodontal pockets and bone loss, may benefit from this procedure.

Osseous surgery is not a good idea if you’re taking medications such as blood thinners.

You must first undergo a thorough examination and assessment to evaluate the extent of gum disease and review any medications you are taking.

4. Preparing for Osseous Surgery

Before undergoing osseous surgery, your dental professional will give you detailed instructions on preparing for the procedure.

This may involve adjusting any medications you are currently taking or informing your dentist of any pre-existing medical conditions.

It could also include following specific dietary guidelines. So, it’s crucial to communicate openly with your dental team and let them address any concerns you may have.

5. The Osseous Surgery Procedure

During the osseous surgery, you’ll be under local anesthesia to ensure comfort. Your dentist or periodontist will access the affected gum tissue by creating small incisions. This will allow them to see and access the underlying bone.

Your dentist will remove the calculus and bacteria and reshape the bone. They’ll also reposition the gum tissue and suture it back into place.

It may take more than one appointment to fully remove the damage to your gums and make repairs. The number of appointments you’ll have will depend on the extent of treatment you need.

6. Recovery and Post-Operative Care

After osseous surgery, following the post-operative instructions your dental professional gives you is crucial. This may include:

  • Taking prescribed medications
  • Adhering to a soft-food diet for a specified period
  • Avoiding strenuous physical activity
  • Maintaining an oral hygiene routine

Swelling, discomfort, and slight bleeding are normal during the initial stages of recovery. But these symptoms should gradually subside with time. If they don’t, visit your dentist immediately.

7. Potential Risks and Complications

While osseous surgery is generally considered safe and effective, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and complications that can arise. Here are some potential risks and complications you want to avoid.


Although uncommon, there’s a risk of infection following osseous surgery. Your dental professional will provide instructions on how to minimize this risk.

These instructions will include proper oral hygiene practices, prescribed antibiotics or antibiotic rinses if necessary.

Delayed Healing

Sometimes, the surgical site may take longer to heal than expected. Factors like pre-existing medical conditions, poor oral hygiene, and smoking can all delay healing.

Diligently following post-operative instructions can help promote faster and more efficient healing.

Excessive Bleeding

Some bleeding is normal immediately after surgery, but you should report any excessive bleeding that persists beyond the expected timeframe to your dentist.

In the meantime, apply gentle pressure with a clean gauze pad to help control bleeding.

Tooth Sensitivity

Your tooth may be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures after osseous surgery. This sensitivity usually subsides within a few weeks or months as the gums heal and adjust.

Using desensitizing toothpaste and avoiding extreme temperature changes can help with the discomfort.

8. Long-Term Benefits of Pocket Reduction

Undergoing osseous surgery can provide numerous long-term benefits for individuals with advanced gum disease. These benefits include the following.

Restored Gum Health

The osseous surgery removes deep gum pockets and eliminates bacteria. It also reduces the risk of further progression of periodontal disease.

Preservation of Teeth

By addressing gum disease and restoring the supporting structures of the teeth, osseous surgery in conjunction with good oral hygiene practices, will allow you to keep your teeth.

Improves Overall Health

Gum disease is connected to other health issues like:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory problems
  • Alzheimer’s

By treating gum disease through osseous surgery, you’d also be contributing to your overall health.

9. Maintenance and Follow-Up Care

After osseous surgery, maintenance and follow-up care are crucial to ensure long-term success. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Oral Hygiene Routine

Follow a thorough oral hygiene routine that includes the following:

  • Brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Flossing daily, gently
  • Using antimicrobial mouth rinses

Always use what’s recommended by your dental professional.

Regular Dental Cleanings

Schedule regular dental cleanings with your dentist to remove plaque and tartar buildup. Monitor changes in your gums, and speak with your dentist if you have any concerns. Typically after osseous surgery, you should go in for a cleaning every 3 months.

Periodic Check-Ups

Attend periodic check-ups with your dentist to evaluate the healing process and assess gum health. This will help you detect any signs of disease recurrence or complications.

Lifestyle Changes

Maintain a healthy lifestyle by avoiding smoking or using tobacco. Eat a balanced diet, manage stress, and practice good oral health habits.

Open Communication

Stay in touch with your dentist, informing them of any changes or concerns you may have regarding your oral health.

By prioritizing maintenance and follow-up care, you can support the long-term success of your surgery and maintain optimal oral health.

10. Alternatives to Osseous Surgery

While osseous surgery can be effective for advanced gum disease, alternative options are available and even more effective!

LANAP — Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure

Laser technology provides a minimally invasive procedure — LANAP — that targets and eliminates bacteria and infected tissue to promote gum tissue regeneration. It eliminates the scalpel, and no sutures are needed. Additionally, healing is natural, and in most cases, lost bone is regenerated.

Your dental professional will evaluate your condition and recommend the most appropriate dental procedure.

Treat Gum Disease in NYC

If you’re looking for a specialist, don’t hesitate to contact us at Advanced Dental Arts. With over 20 years of experience, we are confident that we can help.

Schedule an appointment today to discuss your options!

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