Pocket Reduction


Osseous surgery, sometimes referred to as pocket reduction or gingivectomy, refers to a number of different procedures aimed at gaining access to the tooth roots to remove tartar and disease-causing bacteria.


Osseous surgery is used to reshape deformities and remove pockets in the alveolar bone surrounding the teeth. It is a common necessity in effective treatment of more advanced periodontal diseases. The ultimate goal of pocket depth reduction is to reduce or eliminate the periodontal pockets that cause periodontal disease. Despite the word “surgery” the procedure is reported to feel more like a thorough cleaning. The specific goals of the procedure include:

  • Reducing Bacterial Spread:
    Bacteria from the mouth can spread throughout the body and cause other life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and respiratory disease. Removing deep tartar and thereby bacteria can help reduce the risk of bacteria spreading.
  • Preventing Bone Loss:
    The immune system’s inflammatory response prompted by periodontal bacteria can lead to bone loss in the jaw region, and cause teeth to fall out. Pocket reduction seeks to stop periodontal disease before it progresses to this level.
  • Enhancing the Smile:
    Mouths plagued with periodontal disease are often unsightly. Brown gums, rotting teeth, and ridge indentations can leave a person feeling depressed and too self-conscious to smile. Fortunately, osseous surgery can help reduce bacteria and disease and thereby restore your mouth to its former radiance, while restoring confidence at the same time.
  • Facilitating Home Care:
    As the gum pocket deepens, it can become nearly impossible to brush and floss adequately. Osseous surgery reduces pocket size, making it easier to brush and floss, and thereby prevent further periodontal disease.


A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area. First, Dr. Owens will make incisons around each tooth of the affected area to release the gum tissue. This allows access to the roots of the teeth. After the roots have been thoroughly cleaned through scaling, the bone around the teeth is reshaped. Bone grafting may also be necessary to fill in large defects.

Next, the gums will be sutured into place. The site will also be covered with a bandage (periodontal pack) or dressing. Discomfort medicine and mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine are generally prescribed following the procedure.

Follow up visits will be necessary and you must fulfill a meticulous maintenance program.

Call us at (512) 341-2321 to schedule a consultation!