Easing Infection with Pocket Reduction Surgery


Periodontal disease erodes the bone and tissue around the teeth, leading to infection, mobility, and potential tooth loss. When diagnosed early, gum disease can be successfully managed with nonsurgical treatments. However, if the condition has advanced, surgical intervention may be necessary.

At our Fayetteville, NY, practice, Dr. James M. Vlassis performs pocket reduction surgery for patients with advanced periodontal disease. This procedure eliminates bacteria around the tooth roots and repositions the gums so that problematic areas can be reached with a toothbrush and floss.

Healthy gums versus gums affected by periodontitis

Surgical intervention is usually recommended when periodontal pockets around the teeth become too deep to remove bacteria with nonsurgical tools. 

When is Pocket Reduction Necessary?

Your supporting bone and gum tissue should fit tightly around your teeth. When bacteria are present, the resulting infection wears down the bone and causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth. As a result, pockets form around the roots. Once these pockets exist, more bacteria can accumulate, triggering a harmful cycle of bone and tissue loss. Pocket reduction surgery is necessary when the pockets around your teeth become too deep.

Treatment Process

To begin your pocket reduction surgery, Dr. Vlassis will administer local anesthesia to ensure your comfort. Next, an incision is created along the gum line and the gums are moved back away from the teeth. This allows Dr. Vlassis to remove plaque deposits, tartar, and bacteria that have accumulated below. In some cases, he may also smooth and reshape the underlying bone to eliminate areas where bacteria hide. A regenerative substance may be applied to encourage healing and reattachment of the tissues. Finally, the gums are repositioned to leave more tooth surface exposed. As a result, you will be able to clean your teeth more effectively.

Patients who experience from dental anxiety can choose one of our many sedation options. We offer nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. We can help you select an option according to your specific needs.

What to Expect during Recovery

Following your pocket reduction surgery, a protective dressing may be applied to the gums. This dressing will be removed by your doctor during a follow-up visit or may fall out on its own during the first week of recovery. Your sutures will dissolve on their own, as well. In some cases, they may need to be removed by your dentist after one or two weeks of healing.

We are always here to address any concerns you may have about periodontal treatment.

Because pocket reduction is a surgical procedure, patients can expect some degree of soreness after treatment. Therefore, we recommend a soft food diet for the first few days. Any discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication, such as naproxen or ibuprofen.

You will also be provided with a comprehensive list of post-operative guidelines. Following these instructions will help you enjoy a faster, more comfortable recovery.

Dr. Vlassis prioritizes health, comfort, and patient education. Therefore, we are always here to address any concerns you may have about periodontal treatment.

Contact Our Practice Today

If you have red, tender, swollen gums , schedule a consultation with Dr. Vlassis. As a board-certified Diplomate of Periodontics with over 30 years of experience, he has the skills necessary to address any oral health issue you are facing and determine whether surgical intervention is necessary. Call our practice at (315) 637-0777 or contact us online.

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"When it comes to implants, Dr Vlassis is the best. He is very comfortable to be around. He explains procedures as he is doing them, and doesn't waste anytime. I have had a number of implants done by the good doctor and would not think of going anywhere else. I have known Dr. Vlassis 15 years, and recommend him highly."

Richard T.

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Fayetteville Office

100 N Burdick St
Fayetteville, NY 13066

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

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