Osseous Surgery Overview


Just hearing the word surgery can make people squirm. It’s true that just the word surgery can sound dominating and frightful. Osseous surgery is not invasive or frightening. It is the best way to finally kick gum disease to the curb. This type of surgery is performed after an extensive review of a patient’s dental history. Aside from gum disease, other issues that may warrant the need for osseous surgery are: tooth sensitivity and bleeding gums. Osseous surgery can help reshape the bones of your teeth, which also helps you lead a happier and healthier life.  

Gum Disease 

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, it a condition in which the tissues around the gums become inflamed. Sometimes teeth begin to fall out, bad breath occurs more frequently and gums begin to hurt. Certain factors such as smoking, family history and diabetes can cause gum disease to appear. Some of the other causes of gum disease include: Suppressed antibodies, trapped bacteria and tooth pockets.  


The need for osseous surgery should be discussed with the patient and a specialized dentist called a periodontal specialist. Before the surgery can begin, the specialist will request that you stop any medications and not drink alcohol or smoke at least 24 hours before surgery. This is to ensure that there are no unexpected complications during surgery. This specialist will perform a complete exam, including x-rays, to determine the best way to approach osseous surgery. The entire procedure can take up to 90 minutes and requires local anesthesia. During the procedure the dentist will need to fold back the gums and do a complete clean sweep of all the bacteria. Only by completely removing the bacteria will the dentist be able to work on the gums and teeth. Following the cleaning, the dentist will reshape the bone, clean and smooth of the root. Depending on the specific case, bone grafting may be necessary. Once the dentist has completed all these steps, they will start putting all the pieces back together, just like a puzzle.  


Recovering from osseous surgery is a breeze compared to other dental surgeries. The most important rule to remember is to follow the dentist’s instructions to the tee. If one follows the instructions given to them, they are less likely to find themselves back in the dentist’s office. Pain is inevitable after osseous surgery and one can take antibiotics (if prescribed) or pain medication such as Advil or Tylenol. Do not smoke, drink from straws or be rough with your mouth (I.e. brushing teeth). Rinse with warm salt water to gently clean the mouth. Apply ice packs to the affected area to help reduce the pain and/or swelling. Swelling can last for up to three days, so no need to be alarmed if the swelling does not cease the day after surgery. Take a break from work or a busy schedule to relax at home. Apply pressure and gauze to the affected area as described by the dentist. This helps the gums stop bleeding. Make sure that you go on to the follow up appointment with the dentist.  


Every type of surgery comes with its own set of risks. Osseous surgery is not dangerous but it does come with a list of need to know risks. For example, even if proper oral hygiene is practiced there is a small chance that infection can occur. While this may not be a risk, your gums may appear more sensitive after the surgery is complete. For example, hot or cold drinks and food can have a major effect of the gums. After this type of surgery, your gums are more susceptible to more cavities.  


Surgery is a great way to give people another chance of happiness after suffering pain or other symptoms. Osseous surgery allows people with gum disease the chance to live their lives without the fear of losing their teeth. Other benefits to have osseous surgery include: 

  • Fast recovery 
  • Prevention of other gum issues 
  • Reducing the risk of infections 
  • Healthier and better smile 
  • Reduced risk of developing pocket depths  


  • Proper oral hygiene is also an important way to prevent gum disease  
  • Getting your teeth professional cleaned at least twice per year.  
  • Follow the dentist’s instructions about specific oral practices 
  • Eat and maintain a healthy diet