The Complete Guide: What is Osseous Surgery?

Periodontal disease is a serious oral health condition that can lead to other significant long-term health consequences. If you have periodontal disease, it’s important to treat it as quickly as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse. One way to do this is with osseous surgery. 

Osseous surgery reshapes your gums, eliminating pockets where plaque can build up and cause irritation. So, what is osseous surgery, and what should you expect from this procedure? Here’s everything you need to know. 

What is Osseous Surgery?

Osseous surgery is a treatment for periodontal or gum disease. It is most common in cases of advanced gum disease where other treatments have failed. 

This surgery removes damaged gum tissue and reshapes the remaining tissue around the teeth. It removes pockets where food and bacteria can build up around the gumline, which can cause swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. 

46% of all adults over the age of 30 have signs of gum disease. If gum disease goes untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health conditions, such as tooth loss and structural damage to the jaw. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream through the gums, contributing to chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. 

How Osseous Surgery Works

There are two primary forms of osseous surgery: traditional surgery and laser surgery. Both procedures have the same goal: removing the deep gum pockets characteristic of periodontal disease, which can be very harmful to your health. 

During a traditional osseous surgery, your dentist will use a scalpel to remove dead and damaged tissue around your gums. Then, they will make small incisions to reshape the gums and remove the pockets. 

Laser gum surgery works very similarly, but the dentist uses a precision laser instead of hand tools to remove dead tissue and make the incision. Many dentists and patients prefer laser osseous surgery because it is more precise and less invasive, resulting in faster recovery times. 

It’s also possible to get an osseous surgery with a bone graft. That might be necessary if the jawbones lost volume due to periodontal disease. The graft will strengthen the bones in your mouth for a more efficient recovery. 

After osseous surgery, you must follow your dentist’s instructions closely to ensure optimal healing. That will include diligent brushing and flossing and regular professional cleanings after recovery. 

Osseous Surgery: What to Expect

If you have a planned osseous surgery, you’re likely wondering what to expect from the procedure. Here’s what to know so you can plan accordingly. 


Before surgery, you’ll have a consultation with your dentist to get an in-depth overview of what to expect during the procedure. Prior to treatment, you will need to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. If you take blood-thinning medications, you must stop taking them temporarily. 

In most cases, osseous surgery is done under local anesthesia, which numbs your mouth. If you are anxious, the doctor may also provide sedation to calm you. If you opt for sedation, you will need someone to drive you home after the procedure, as you will likely feel too sleepy to drive. 

You’ll need to wear very comfortable clothing on the day of the surgery, as the procedure will take around two hours. Ideally, this should be clothing that you don’t mind getting damaged. Although your dentist will take precautions to protect your clothing from blood or fluid, it’s still possible that you could get some stains. 


An osseous surgery will start with an in-depth cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar, as this could get in the way during the procedure. Then, your osseous surgery dental provider will apply the anesthesia and provide sedation as necessary. 

Once the anesthesia has kicked in, your dentist will start the surgery by making careful incisions, either with a laser or a scalpel. Then, they will remove any plaque or tartar that has built up under the gums and on the roots of your teeth. 

The dentist will remove any infected or dead gum tissue, insert a bone graft if necessary, and reshape the gums to eliminate pockets around your teeth. Once the gums are properly repositioned, your dentist will apply self-dissolving stitches or sutures to close up the incisions. They will also apply bandages and dressings to protect the gums as they heal. 


Your dentist will give you complete instructions for your osseous surgery recovery. Your gums generally recover fully in two to four weeks. After the first week, you will have a follow-up visit with the dentist to ensure you are healing correctly. 

You will receive prescription pain medication and antibiotics to take during your recovery, and you will also need to use antibacterial mouthwash to keep your incisions clean. Stick to very soft foods while you are recovering, and avoid drinking sugary or alcoholic beverages. You’ll also need to avoid smoking and drinking from a straw. 

Some swelling is normal as you recover from this procedure. Use ice packs to keep swelling in check and keep your head elevated during the osseous surgery healing process. 

There are some potential osseous surgery side effects you may experience. These include swelling, bruising, bleeding, and tooth sensitivity. 

Osseous Surgery Alternatives

Osseous surgery isn’t the only treatment available for periodontal disease. Here are some alternative options to consider. 

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing can help minimize symptoms in less severe cases of gum disease. This procedure removes plaque and tartar that has built up below the gumline. 

Medicinal Therapy

This periodontal treatment uses antibiotics and other medicines to prevent the gums from becoming infected, often done in conjunction with other therapies. 

Bone Grafts and Regeneration

In severe cases, gum disease can result in a loss of bone in your jaw. A bone graft adds either synthetic bone material or natural bone from somewhere else in the body to help provide support and encourage new bone growth. 

FAQs about Osseous Surgery

Do gums grow back after osseous surgery?

Unfortunately, your damaged gums won’t grow back after osseous surgery. Your dentist may recommend a gum graft in cases of severe gum loss. 

How painful is osseous surgery?

During osseous surgery, patients are given a local anesthetic to minimize pain. However, you may feel some discomfort and pain as you heal. Your dentist may prescribe a prescription pain medication to help keep you comfortable. 

What is the osseous surgery recovery time?

It takes two to four weeks to recover completely from osseous surgery. 

How should I prepare for osseous surgery?

To prepare for osseous surgery, avoid smoking or drinking alcohol. Choose a comfortable outfit for the procedure, and ensure you have someone to drive you home afterward if necessary. 

Take Control of Your Oral Health at MR Dental Aesthetics

If you have gum disease, you shouldn’t delay getting periodontal treatment. MR Dental Aesthetics is a Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist with a unique focus on patient health and comfort. Dr. Rashti will assess your oral health and function at your first appointment before addressing any cosmetic procedure. 

Dr. Rashti takes a personalized approach with patients, taking the time to find the right solution for your needs and address any concerns. She sees every patient individually to ensure everyone is treated with respect, dignity, and privacy, specializing in caring for phobic individuals. 

If you need full mouth reconstruction, contact us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about your treatment options. 

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