Pocket Reduction Surgery: An Effective Treatment for Gum Disease

Inflammation along the gum line is one symptom of gum disease. Left untreated, moderate to severe cases of periodontitis can leave gums so inflamed that the soft tissue detaches from the teeth and underlying bone. The resulting pockets then create an area where bacteria can multiply. To treat these areas of infection, Dr. Rick Heard offers pocket reduction surgery at his Victoria, TX office. The treatment is highly effective and can prevent jawbone recession and tooth loss. Dr. Heard is a board-certified periodontist who has been restoring patients' health and comfort since 2000.

Illustration showing stages of gum disease

As gum disease progresses, pockets can deepen and harmful bacteria will multiply.

How Pocket Reduction Surgery Works

In addition to your health, we prioritize patient comfort. Patients who undergo periodontal surgery at our practice have the option of receiving intravenous (IV) sedation. Our practice works closely with two board-certified anesthesiologists, Dr. Derrick Garrett and Dr. Steve Janececk, to ensure your safety. 

Once you are made comfortable, pocket reduction surgery generally involves four steps:

  • Dr. Heard first gently pulls back the gums from the teeth to access the infected areas. Minor incisions may need to be made.
  • Then, Dr. Heard will remove bacteria from the infected areas.
  • The roots will be smoothed out, if needed, to better facilitate the reattachment of gum tissue (an important step to prevent reinfection).
  • The final step involves flushing the area with an anti-bacterial solution.

If sutures are needed to close the incisions, they are generally removed after five to 10 days. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings are important steps to ensure that your gums remain healthy.  

Our practice works closely with two board-certified anesthesiologists to ensure patients' comfort and safety. 

Benefits of Pocket Reduction Surgery

Pocket reduction surgery is a highly effective treatment for gum disease. By minimizing periodontal pockets, the procedure offers:

  • Improved overall health: Lingering infections can increase your risk for abscesses and even serious health issues such as heart attacks and strokes.
  • Preservation of natural teeth: Untreated periodontitis is a leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
  • Greater comfort: Infected gums are often sore and prone to bleeding. Addressing infections will give you stronger, healthier gums.
  • Enhanced smile: Untreated gum disease can lead to visible signs of infection over time, such as gum recession. 
  • Cost savings: Pocket reduction surgery can prevent the need for more expensive restorative treatments, such as dental implants to replace missing teeth.

In addition to these tangible benefits, knowing that your teeth and gums are in good health can give you peace of mind.

Am I a Candidate?

Candidates for pocket reduction surgery have moderate to advanced stages of gum disease. Dr. Heard will assess the health of your gums to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure during an in-depth consultation. Gulf Coast Periodontics also offers regenerative procedures, such as bone and soft tissue grafts, that can aid in the treatment of periodontitis.

Schedule Your Appointment with Dr. Heard Today

At Gulf Coast Periodontics, you’re in expert hands. Whether you have mild, moderate, or severe gum disease, it is never too late to take actions to preserve your teeth and prevent jawbone recession, tooth loss, or other complications that can arise. To learn more about the benefits of pocket reduction surgery, contact our office online or call (361) 573-1014.

Dr. Rick Heard

Dr. Rick Heard

Dr. Heard is board-certified in periodontology and dental implant surgery with over 15 years of experience in the field. He is also a member of multiple prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Periodontology
  • The American Dental Association
  • The McGuire Institute

Find out if you are a candidate for dental implants by requesting an appointment online or calling (361) 573-1014 today.

Message Our Staff

After multiple years of avoiding a dental issue, I visited Dr. Heard. In a short period of time, I went from what I thought was a hopeless dental problem, to a complete solution. I now have a full understanding of my procedure, the timeline, and even exact costs.

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