What is flap surgery?

Gingival flap surgery is a type of gum procedure. The gums are separated from the teeth and folded back temporarily. This allows a dentist to reach the root of the tooth and the bone. During this time, the dentist can clean the deposited tartar and hard set calculus.



  • Gingival flap surgery is used to treat gum disease (periodontitis/pyorroea).
  • It may be recommended for people with moderate or advanced periodontitis.
  • Usually, a treatment that doesn’t involve surgery is done first. This is called scaling and root planing. If this treatment does not eliminate the gum infection, gingival flap surgery is indicated.
  • Flap surgery is done to treat gum enlargements.
  • Bone grafting and guided tissue regeneration are done along with flap surgery procedure, if required.


  • First, a local anesthesia is given to numb the area.
  • Then the periodontist will use a scalpel to separate the gums from the teeth.
  • They will be lifted or folded back in the form of a flap. This gives the periodontist direct access to the roots and bone supporting the teeth.
  • Inflamed tissue will be removed from between the teeth and from any defects in the bone.
  • The periodontist will then do a procedure called scaling and root planing to clean plaque and tartar.
  • If you have bone defects, your periodontist may eliminate them. This procedure is called osseous recontouring. It smoothes the edges of the bone using files or rotating burs.
  • After these procedures are completed, the gums will be placed back against the teeth and stitched (sutured) in place.
  • Some periodontists use stitches that dissolve on their own. Others use stitches that have to be removed a week to 10 days after the surgery.
  • Your periodontist also may cover the surgical site with a bandage known as a periodontal pack or dressing.If bone is deficient , then the periodontist may also put some bone grafting material there.


  • There can be mild pain, oozing of blood and /or mild swelling.
  • After flap surgery, there can be mild gingival recession.
  • Temporary sensitivity to hot and cold can be encountered.

Pre & Post operative pictures