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Gum Flap Surgery Questions

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Old 05-29-2005, 07:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9
DerekLoweFan HB User
Question Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Hello to ALL of you!!!!

I'm new here (as far as posting), but I found this board on February 10th and have been lurking since. This is a FANTASTIC board and all of you are very kind and caring folks. I'd like to be able to tell you my entire dental "story", but I don't want to bore any of you with all that has transpired with me since February 9th of this year. I had LOTS of questions, but was a tad shy as to posting, but now I have concerns about my NEXT "procedure" - the gum flap surgery...

I only need to have it done on my remaining 7 bottom teeth. I have 4 teeth on the right and 3 teeth on the left. (Recently I had to have all my uppers extracted, along with 3 of my front BOTTOM teeth extracted.) This has left me with only 7 bottom teeth. (I have a partial for the bottom, and full dentures on top.)

On June 7th I will be having the Gum Flap Surgery on my lower right side. I've NEVER had this surgery before and I have a few "concerns".

#1) Is it unusual for a periodontist to ONLY use novacaine? The perio I'm going to ONLY uses novacaine. (Meaning, I have no choice than to be AWAKE for this.) And THAT really scares the heck out of me.

#2) For those of you who HAVE had ONLY novacaine, could you let me know what YOUR experience was like? (If it was a bad experience, don't be afraid that you'll scare me because I WANT to know the "worse case scenario".)

#3) This is almost the same as my 2nd question. Was the experience SO BAD that you didn't want to go back to have another quad done? (That's MY concern.) Let's face it, I really NEED to have BOTH quads done, so no matter how badly the first one goes, I'm going to have to go back to have the lower left quad done.
In fact, I'm SO concerned that I asked if he could do ALL 7 at once, but was told he can't do all the bottoms at once. One of his technicians told me if it was the TOP that had to be done then it COULD be done all at once, but the bottom HAS to be done one side at a time.

#4) This question is about cost, and I'd REALLY like to get some feedback on THIS ONE. I have my own "theory" and I'm wondering if I'm way off in my thinking and would like to hear what you have to say about MY way of thinking on this one. Here goes:

The periodontist gave me a price of $800 per quad. (Again, in my case there are only 2 quads to be done.) I don't have dental insurance and I've been having to pay out-of-pocket and of course, "up front" for EVERYTHING thus far. (Yes, I AM going into SERIOUS debt here.) At the price he gave me, I will end up paying $1,600 to have this surgery for 7 teeth.

Now here's MY way of thinking: Let's say the "average" person has 14 bottom teeth and are in need of the SAME surgery. That would be 7 teeth per quad. That person would pay $800 per quad, for a total of $1,600 for all 14 teeth.

Am I dead wrong to think that the periodontist should give me some kind of financial "break" since he ONLY has to do 3 on one quad and 4 on the other?
Perhaps I shouldn't have used the word "should" in the above sentence. More like, wouldn't it be "NICE" of him to give me a financial break since he's going to charge me that SAME amount (for 7 teeth) that he'd charge a person with 14 teeth?

Time wise, let's face it, it's not going to take him nearly as long to do 3 on one quad than it would if he was doing 7 per quad.

And lastly, I already have sensitive teeth, (I use Sensodine toothpaste). Are my teeth going to be even MORE sensitive AFTER surgery? And if so, how LONG does this "super-sensitivity" last?

I'd appreciate ANY responses. So If any of you have a few spare minutes, I'd LOVE to get some feedback.

I DO apologize for such a lengthy first post, but I'm VERY nervous about this particular "procedure". Oh, how I WISH I could be knocked out for this, but he doesn't do things that way.

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read this, and I'm praying for some help here.

Thanks again, and I hope all of you are enjoying the Memorial Day Weekend.


Last edited by DerekLoweFan; 05-29-2005 at 07:29 PM.

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Old 05-29-2005, 09:32 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 38
wyod501 HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

I am not the best person to write a reply here as I am a horrible phobic of dental care. I will say that I cannot imagine undergoing this treatment without sedation.

Good luck, and hope things turn out well. I have refused scaling and root planing for eight years. The teeth are just fine.

Old 05-30-2005, 01:41 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 8
heatherz HB User
Arrow Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions


I have never had gum flap surgery...but this may help you....

Let me just say, that 5 years ago I had an implant done in number 7...that's the tooth on the right of your right front tooth. I don't know how they do it in the states or wherever you are, but here in Switzerland, they put me on an operating table, i was all dressed for surgery, socks and hair too were they... sterile everything. For an implant, they had to open up my gum line over 6 right 3, and top left three, all just to get to the jaw bone and hammer away for the bone grafts first in the bone over no.7. I have teeny nails in there! OK my head was racking around...getting a headache with the hammering...bothersome...but that will not be you thank goodness.


Now..I have normally a profound resistance to novacaine...but whatever they did... they did it right...and i did not feel a thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was numb up to my eyeballs TG. I do remember it was a looooonng slow injection tho.. painful at first, but considering the alternative...inject away!!!

And...I do not know what kind of gum surgery you are having..but they lifted my gums up like a nice flap....yuck.....and stitched them back down. Be forewarned and ask them how you will be looking afterwards in that week...cause my entire face was grey/swollen... I was only on Volteren 100mg for the pain... ice packs worked well.... they also used black stitches on me lol.... smiles even after the swelling was gone looked like bugs in my teeth !!!!! I had to cancel everything for the better part of 2 weeks other than the movies...public speaking was off the agenda.

You should be fine...

Last edited by heatherz; 05-31-2005 at 12:54 PM.

Old 06-01-2005, 07:50 PM   #4
indy gal
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 228
indy gal HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Hi, I don't know if you are still checking this for responses... but why are you having the gum flap surgery for? Do you have abscessed root tips? Are they doing an apicoectomy (ie: removing the root tip)? Also, what made you opt for having the surgery vs. removing those teeth and having complete dentures?

Any, instead of asking questions I should be answering yours. See my response in capital letter below.



#3) This is almost the same as my 2nd question. Was the experience SO BAD that you didn't want to go back to have another quad done? I ONLY HAD TO HAVE ONE MOLAR DONE, BUT IF I HAD TO DO IT AGAIN I WOULD BE OK WITH IT.


I hope those answers help a little bit, but if you want more details I'll see what I can do. You could also search for my posts from 2 years ago when I had my surgery. Good luck!

Old 06-01-2005, 10:07 PM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 417
lateeth HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

I've got lots of experience with flap surgery having had all 4 quads done and the last one was just a few days ago. I will try to remember all your questions:
I had only novacaine and did not feel a thing. the only bother is managing to keep your mouth open for so long. My quads were 2 hours each but one was 3 hours. Ask the dentist to put some vasaline on the corner of your mouth where the bottom and top lip meet and make sure to visit the bathroom before they start. ITs a long time in the chair. So my only discomfort had nothing to do with the surgery itself. In my case, I had the roots cleaned out all the way to the bottom of my huge pockets, the infected gum scraped out, my gum trimmed a few centimeters, the bone under the gum smoothed out and ground up bone packed in where i have bone loss after it was first scraped from an area where i had lots of bone. I felt nothing at all and was able to even talk to the dentist whenever she allowed me to close my mouth for a few minutes. A long slow novacaine shot will make it almost painless. I have had lots of those and feel practically nothing. In one quad the dentist found several roots of baby teeth attached to my adult teeth and had to hack those out.
When she was done each time, my dentist put a plastic "bandage" over my gum where the surgery and stitches were. That kept them from hurting. I had a small piece break off one time and could really tell the difference. But the bandage keeps your food and mouth from rubbing on the cut and sore part. All I had was one ibuprofen each time. she gave me four but i did not need more than one.
Cost...that really varies a lot from city to city and even within cities. I had only molars and premolars done. On the side where i had only 3 teeth left she charged about what you are paying. On the other side where i have an extra tooth, the charge was more. My dentist has a per tooth charge and a whole thing charge but 4 or more teeth works out to the the whole quad charge. I am in Los Angeles where it is prob more expensive than smaller towns.
If I missed anything else, ask again. I would be happy to share my experience with you. By the way, my face never got swollen. I still have the "bandage" on from the last time and need to get the stitches removed on friday. I can eat almost anything. the first day she said to keep away from crunchy hard stuff.
Oh yes, teeth did become sensitive. In my case she trimmed my gums and that exposed tooth without the enamel buildup on it. She recomended a gel called GelKam which is flouride. I put it on my teeth for a few days and the sensitivity went away. I think i will need to periodically redo that but so far i have been okay. I tried some icecream and that was cold but everything else has not been a problem

Old 06-05-2005, 02:28 PM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9
DerekLoweFan HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Hello Again,

Thank you ALL, tremendously for posting your replies to my questions. I appreciate your offers of help so VERY much.

To ANSWER a question that was asked of me, the REASON I'm having this done is because I was given 2 treatment plans, and could opt for either one.
The treatment plans were given to me by the periodontist. When my dentist and I discussed these 2 options, we agreed one THIS one.

Here were the 2 options:

#1) Remove ALL lower teeth and have 2 implants which would support an overdenture.

#2) Remove 3 of the front lower teeth (as these were the worst ones and were not able to be "saved") and have a partial made, and then have the gum flap surgery on the remaining teeth.

My dentist and I opted for the 2nd plan.

Long story short, I have periodontal disease with bone loss and it's VERY advanced. That is why I had to have ALL of my upper teeth removed in April and am currently wearing an immediate upper denture, as well as the lower partial.

The entire process is making me more than a wee bit "nuts". Having 3 doctors involved with ONE mouth is SO frustrating.

An oral surgeon did the removal of the upper teeth and the 3 front lower teeth.

After seeing the dentist in February and having x-rays and a full exam, I was sent to the periodontist with my x-rays for another FULL exam where he did all of the pocket measurements, etc. He then gave me an idea of what COULD be done and he put together the treatment plans and sent THAT to my dentist and a copy was sent to me.

Then back to the dentist to discuss these 2 options.

I've been seeing the dentist A LOT because of adjustments needed for my upper denture. Plus, I'm not healing as quickly as the "average" patient, and the dentist has now gotten VERY frustrated because he's not used to having to make THIS MANY adjustments to a single patient's upper denture AND partial. (HE'S frustrated??? Imagine how I feel? Sorry doc that I'm NOT your "average" patient.)

Sorry, didn't mean to go on and on, but I'm VERY tired of having to make ALL these trips to the dentist, and deal with HIS "frustration".

Which makes me think of yet ANOTHER thing that I "learned" from the dentist last Wednesday. And this is something that I should probably start a new thread for because it has nothing to do with the gum flap surgery.
It's about my VERY first reline, which is a SOFT reline.

Anyway, at least I've answered WHY I'm having the gum flap surgery.
Oh, does anyone know how long between surgeries?

What I mean is that on Tuesday, June 7th I'm having the RIGHT lower ones done, but I will have to go back at some point to have the LEFT lower ones done. I'm wondering how much time is needed BETWEEN surgeries?

I know ALREADY that eating will be virturally impossible once I have the first one done on Tuesday.

Why? Well, for starters, I'm NOT going to be able to wear my lower partial after the surgery because the partial has hooks that hook AROUND one of the teeth he's doing the gum flap surgery one. (Same will be the case for the OTHER side.)

I'm also thinking that I probably won't be able to wear my FULL upper denture because the top teeth would be pressing against the top of the teeth that just had the gum flap surgery.

(I DO know that there will be some sort of "bandage" involved because I DO remember him telling me that when I saw him in February.)
By the way, I've only seen the periodontist ONCE. And that was in February to do the full exam and put together a treatment plan.

I'm HOPING when I go in on Tuesday for the surgery, that he has a few minutes to answer my questions BEFORE he begins the surgery. I tried asking my dentist some of these questions last Wednesday because the dentist used to do ALL of that stuff, but now just does basic dental work.

He said he would only answer questions related to what HE does, not anything to do with what the periodontist will be doing.

I've only started eating SOMEWHAT "real" food about 2 weeks ago because of all the problems with the upper denture. Now I've got to go back to a TOTAL soft diet AGAIN. And from what you folks have said, it seems like it's going to be a soft diet for a LONG time.

Oh, I WAS told that they've scheduled me for a hour and a half on Tuesday, so I'm guessing that's all the time he'll need to do the surgery.

At first, my dentist thought deep scaling would do the trick, but the periodonist said "no way". That gum flap surgery IS necessary. So that's why I'm doing all this.

Evidently, the pockets are quite deep, so he needs to cut these gum flaps so he can get WAY DOWN to the tooth roots, etc.

Other than the folks on this board, I don't PERSONALLY know ANYONE who's ever had to have this kind of thing done, and that is WHY I'm coming to all of you for help. You are a WEALTH of information, and I very much appreciate your anwering my questions.

I know I WILL get through ALL of this (I don't have a choice do I?) But it's been frustrating, exhausting, and it's REALLY putting me into BIG TIME credit card debt. This is a financial NIGHTMARE!!!!
And all the doctors involved REQUIRE me to pay UP FRONT before they do ANYTHING.

Okay, I'd better sign off for now before I make you people hate me for my extremely long posts.

Thank you all AGAIN, for EVERYTHING.

p.s. I didn't take the time to preview this post, so please excuse any typos.

Old 06-05-2005, 02:43 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 95
kusum HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Hi Robin,

sorry to hear everything you are undergoing. May I know how deep your pockets are and what kind of bone loss you have.

My smallest pocket is 3mm and longest is 8mm. There are couple of teeth that seem to have lost all the bone. At least my periodontist is not asking for gum surgery (yet). I dread to imagine what my future has got in store for me..

Old 06-05-2005, 03:06 PM   #8
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9
DerekLoweFan HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Hi Kusum,

As far as the depth of the pockets, I believe the deepest is 8mm.

I'm a bit confused on your bone loss question because I was not aware that there were different TYPES of bone loss.

I CAN tell you that I was told the bone loss is what led to the gum disease, and NOT the other way around. (That's confusing).

When I told them my family dental history, I was told it was most likely hereditary. (My 3 siblings had to have all their upper teeth removed by age 19!!!!)

So I guess if it IS hereditary, then I should consider myself "lucky" because I will be 51 next month and managed to hold onto my natural teeth a LOT longer than the rest of my family???
(However, I DO NOT consider myself to be "lucky".) The dentist says this, but no way am I feeling like a "lucky girl" these days.

I hope YOU are able to get by with what they call "deep scaling and root planing". I've NEVER had the deep scaling done because I've been told that my gum disease is WAY TOO advanced.

Funny, I had no bleeding when I brushed my teeth, so I NEVER thought I had gum disease. No pain, no bleeding. I brushed my teeth at LEAST twice a day and flossed SEVERAL times a day. I flossed after EVERY meal, and even after a small snack. I've always been sort of a floss freak.

This entire situation came as a HUGE shock to me. Having to have all my top teeth removed was a real nightmare. My teeth were SO pretty. I smiled a LOT and was NEVER self-conscious because I had a VERY NICE smile.
So having to have PRETTY teeth removed was rather devasting to say the least.

I hope I've helped YOU somewhat. I appreciate YOUR help and I'm sorry I spent so much time talking about ME in this post. I was supposed to be answering YOU.

Good luck to YOU, and let's keep in touch, okay???


Last edited by DerekLoweFan; 06-05-2005 at 03:09 PM.

Old 06-05-2005, 08:31 PM   #9
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 95
kusum HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Thanks for the detailed message. My case is the same. I have no bleeding no infection. (I did know that I have perio but looked like it was well under control). During one of my regular cleanings my doctor suddenly found 2-3 loose teeth and x-ray revealed there is total bone loss for them. I was quite surprised too. It could be from a medication that I had to take last year or it could be genetic. My mother lost all her teeth by 35 and my grand mother lost by 30. I am 42 now. According to my docs I will be losing all my teeth within couple of years. I am desparately looking for alternate treatments now.

In your case, did you lose bone all at once? How did you find out?

Sure I would like to keep in touch. We have so much in common..

Old 06-06-2005, 12:41 AM   #10
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 417
lateeth HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Hi Both of you , this is LA teeth who is a year or so ahead of you. Let me tell you, it does feel like you are spending your entire life at one dentist or the other, but there is light at the end of the tunnel (or am i just getting used to all these dental visits). I can sympathize with the frustration of having to coordinate between several types of dentists. Right now I do not have another appt until August!!! And i never had any novacaine in my entire life until last year. Since then i have had enough monthly for an elephant! Like both of you I had no symptoms. I went to the dentist twice yearly and brushed my teeth. I could have been better at flossing i must admit...but i learned my lesson on that one, i have been much better. and my teeth have always been beautiful, strong and straight so i could not bear having them yanked. they look so innocent and under it all is that insiduous disease and the bone loss.
As for your questions about timing, I had one quad done and the stitches out and the second quad done one week later. Since you heal slowly this might be too fast for you. I needed to eat carefully just the first day and after that i could eat most anything. Of course you will have the problem with the upper teeth missing. I don't see why you would not be able to wear your upper dentures though. If they fit just like teeth, my upper teeth did not get in the way of my lower teeth with the bandage on it. Basically the only feeling i had was the stitches rubbing but the bandage covered the stitches and i only felt that when a part of the bandage fell off and exposed some stitches. They also felt a little worse after time but once they were out, everything felt fine. I had to brush very gently for a week or so after getting the stitches out. Right now i am day 2 post stitch removal on my last quad and am already brushing with the slow speed of the electric toothbrush. You will probably have some cold sensitivity. After the surgery, everything gets caught in the wider spaces created between your teeth.
There are things i do not like, but i like this a whole lot better than the alternative of having all my teeth pulled. And they have been experimenting successfully with growing new teeth in animals so I am hoping that some day in the future they will be able to offer all of us a whole new set of our very own teeth.
Good luck on tuesday. Ask all your questions!! You are paying enough for answers and once your mouth is open, you will not be able to ask much. (altho somehow the dentists seem pretty good at interpreting grunting).

Old 06-06-2005, 04:29 AM   #11
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 95
kusum HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Hi Lateeth,

Thanks for your reply. I am pleased to know that we DO NOT have to lose our teeth to perio. I am actually very happy today as I woke up to see that my tooth firmed up quite a bit. (from herbal therapy) I was able to wiggle it with my tongue (without any pressure) yesterday but today I am not able to unless I apply some pressure (which I am sure I should not).

I am still wondering though.. what happens if we continue to lose our bone (without symptoms) and when there is no bone left at all? All the treatments are for perio but there seems to be no treatment for bone loss.

Old 06-06-2005, 06:05 AM   #12
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9
DerekLoweFan HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Hello To Kusum and Lateeth!!!!

First to Kusum:

It sure feels GREAT to actually have helped someone else on the board for a change. I've been the one who's been getting all of your help so it's wonderful to finally be "the helper" to you Kusum.

Here's how I found out about my bone loss:

On February 9th of this year (a date I'll NEVER forget) I went to the dentist to have a teeny tiny cavity taken care of. He took a full set of x-rays and WHAM - there it was - BONE LOSS. And LOTS of bone loss I might add.

When he told me I'd most likely end up having all my uppers removed I was in TOTAL SHOCK!!!! All my pretty teeth had to be removed???? I would need DENTURES??? Surely this HAD to be a nightmare and I'd wake up and be so relieved that it was ONLY a VERY BAD DREAM!!!!
But that was NOT the case. I was NOT dreaming. This was REALLY happening to me. I cannot describe how HORRIFIED I was!!!!

He showed me the x-rays (which I am NOT able to interpret) until he pointed out to me exactly, WHAT was what on those x-rays I was looking at. I couldn't believe these were x-rays of MY teeth!!!!

We sure DO have a lot in common, Kusum. And it seems we BOTH have a lot in common with Lateeth.

Now to Lateeth:

As I just said to Kusum, it's seems the THREE of us have a lot in common with our respective dental problems.

Thank you VERY much for your response. Until I read YOUR post, I had NO idea that I was NOT the only one who had to have their very pretty and yes, INNOCENT looking teeth removed. Especially when I had always taken such good care of them. (I NEVER wanted to have to get dentures like the rest of my ENTIRE family.) And I thought I was SAFE because at age 50 I had all my "natural" teeth whereas my 3 siblings lost their's at such YOUNG ages. Plus both my parents had dentures, and grandparents.

When your 3 sibliings lose their teeth BEFORE age 19 and I'm here at age 50 with ALL of mine, I don't think it was crazy for me to think I would ALWAYS be able to hold onto my "own" teeth. Yet my dentist says to me "Why are you so surprised, you MUST have known this would happen to you eventually with your family history?" Sorry doc, but NO, I NEVER "knew" this would eventually happen to me.

To anyone who thinks I could not possibly have taken good care of my teeth and end up this way, well it happened. And I am living proof that even a good dental regimen does not make you exempt from these problems.

Lateeth, I had NO IDEA that the 2nd surgery could be done so SOON after the FIRST ONE!!!! Wow!!!! I hope I AM able to have it done as soon as you did because I want this OVER WITH!!!!

You had one quad done and the stitches removed and the second quad done only ONE week later??? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like the stitches were removed from the first quad AT THE SAME TIME your second quad was done. Am I right on that, or did I misinterpret something???
Because I'm guessing that the stitches had to stay in for about a week. If that's the case, then you went in to have THOSE stitches removed, and immediately after they were removed, you had the surgery on the second quad, all in ONE appointment??

I was HOPING I could have both quads done at the same time to get it over with in one "sitting", but was told that CANNOT be done on the lowers. That if it was the upppers, it COULD be done.

Something to do with the extent and the effect of the novacaine in the lower jaw.

As far as my healing slowly, this is the FIRST time I've had slow healing from surgery. Oops, I take that back, I had VERY SLOW healing when I had my wisdom teeth removed at age 19. What SHOULD have healed completely in 3 weeks, took ME 3 MONTHS!!!! I had MASSIVE swelling after those wisdom teeth were removed. SO massive, that even my CHEST was swelled WAY OUT!!!! My face was HUMONGOUS!!!! And I was so bruised it looked like someone had beaten me up. It was AWFUL!!!! It was 8 weeks before I could finally get my teeth open far enough to cram a piece of spaghetti in there.

So I guess when it comes to ORAL surgery, I'm a VERY slow healer. As far as all the other body parts that I've had surgery on, I come through like a champ and heal FASTER than the average person. Go figure!!!!

I must say that the dentist is SOOOOO frustrated with me. According to him, I'm the FIRST patient he's had that had taken THIS LONG to heal. That's hard to believe. I mean he's been in practice for quite a long time. I thought by now he'd seen just about EVERYTHING.

Okay, I got off the subject a bit there. This thread is supposed to be about gum flap surgery isn't it? I'm not sure of ALL the rules here, but I suppose I should stay on topic and not stray to my upper extractions and THOSE problems.

Lateeth you mentioned something about at one point, part of your "bandage" fell off. What kind of BANDAGE do they use for the INSIDE of the mouth?
I WAS told during my consultation with the periodontist back in February that he'd be bandaging it, but I didn't think to ask: "HOW in the world do you bandage the INSIDE of the mouth"? (Mind you, at that point I was still in SHOCK that all this was happening to me, and SO FAST!!!!)

So I'm VERY curious about the type of bandage that is used. I'm sure hoping that my bandage stays INTACT for the duration. I DON'T want any of it "falling off" like yours did. I've ALWAYS had VERY sensitive teeth, and it seems I'd be in a LOT more pain with any bandage falling off.

When a part of your bandage fell off, did you have to go back and have it re-bandaged? I mean it seems you'd want to keep it bandaged to avoid infection, MORE pain, etc.

I'm glad you told me about the wider spaces because I was totally UNAWARE of that!!!! See, how much we DON'T know until it happens to us???? It seems it must be PAINFUL at first to FLOSS where the surgery was done, even WITH the larger spaces. That area must be quite "raw" after the bandage and stitches are removed.

Again, other than you people on this board, I have NOBODY to talk to or to ask questions of about all of this stuff. (My family could answer the DENTURE questions, but they never had any GUM surgeries, so this part is REALLY as foreign to them as it is to me.)

Oh, is there a LOT of bleeding involved with this? AND what about SWELLING too? Did YOU have much swelling???

I'm assuming the stitches are NOT dissolveable ones or you would NOT have mentioned the part about having the stitches REMOVED.

I had disassolveable ones when I had all my upper teeth extracted. I likes those kind of stitches, because having stitches removed from the mouth can be VERY painful.

As fearful as I am about this upcoming surgery tomorrow afternoon, I agree that I'd rather have THIS, than have all my lowers removed too. I do NOT want to end up with a LOWER denture. So I certainly agree with you on that. The alternative WOULD be MUCH worse.

Oh, by the way, late last night I realized what I had said here about my upper dentures and perhaps not being able to wear them after the surgery? THEN, it occured to me that there ARE people who still have their "natural" upper teeth and have to have gum flap surgery on their LOWERS. So why would I need to keep my upper dentures out? (Once I realized this I felt SOOOO stupid that I'd even mentioned that part of it here.) So you SURE DO make a VERY valid, and realistic point when you brought that up in YOUR post. (Silly me!!! What WAS I thinking of with respect to THAT???).

Well, I guess I've done it again. Yet ANOTHER long post. I hope I'm not breaking any rules with respect to the LENGTH of my posts. It's just so VERY difficult to make some of these posts SHORT. I have so many questions, and then when someone asks me something, I need to give answers too. So I'm truly sorry if my long posts are getting on anyone's nerves. I DO realize this IS a LOT to read.

Thank you AGAIN, and if you have the time Lateeth, I'd LOVE to get some of my questions in this post answered BEFORE I go in tomorrow for the surgery. My appointment is at 1pm and I live on the East coast. Massachusetts to be exact. (Home of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox!!!) Thought I'd mention this in case any of you are baseball fans. My husband and I are DIEHARD Red Sox fans, which obviously has NOTHING to do with "dental problems"

Take care everyone, and I hope to hear from you ASAP.


Old 06-08-2005, 01:43 AM   #13
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 417
lateeth HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Hey Robin, hope you will read this before you go. It is past midnight here on the west coast so you are probably waking up soon. From your long post i seem to remember 2 questions/comments. one the dentist fashioned it out of some pliable stuff like a soft plastic material that she flattened all around the teeth and gums kind of like pushing around pie crust if you have ever done that. It seems to harden quickly. The first surgery i had, one part cracked off after a few days and that had a piece of stitch hardened into it so i had to have my husband cut through the stitch because the stitch was thru my gum and the broken bandage was hanging by it. When he cut the stitch we took off the bandage and i was fine but it was a bit painful until we got that done. It was fine without the bandage. Some people never get one but when that part fell off I could tell the difference. The part with the bandage felt fine, without I could tell i could feel rubbing, but since it was several days already it was okay. As far as the stitches are concerned, it only took a few minutes to snip them out and pull them out. That was the worst part of the whole surgery. During the surgery I was numb so i felt nothing. but i was not numb for the stitch removal But not to worry, although i felt it,it lasted only 1/10 of a second and it was over.
Now for comments...I am wondering if you are alergic to novacaine as you had a reaction only to dental stuff where they use novacaine. Some people are. I think there are other things they can use if you are alergic.
Two quads at once??? the problem with the upper is the sinus may be close, the problem with the lower is there is a nerve running quite close they need to be careful of. This is according to my dentist. I had upper and lower done a week apart not one side and the other, although I could have as i have not had problems at all. Once she did one lower, i asked if most people are fairly symmetrical. She said yes, so since my nerve location was far enough away to be out of the way of the surgery for the first side there was a very good chance the second side would not be a problem. and it turned out not to be a problem. But each dentist has their own way of doing things. I just wanted to double up as i need to make a special trip and find difficult parking where my dentist is. Since I spend a half day getting there and back and parking, I want to make the most of it. If my dentist was a few blocks from my house i would not care so much.
There was no pain involved!!! I could open my mouth right after. But if you could not open your mouth for weeks after your extraction, you might be different. My surgery took 2 hours per quad and 3 for one of them where i had baby teeth still lurking. Vasaline on the lip corners and trips to the bathroom were the key for me.
Now...I am too glad to read about both you and Kusum. when I heard the devastating news I immediately looked up countless websites for periodontal disease on the internet. Each and every picture I saw had the most horrible looking teeth which were all crooked, with severe gum recession and half falling out teeth. Mine were all straight and in a row, with normal looking gums. My teeth look to me like they did when i was 18! perfect. So I was sure there was something wrong with the diagnosis. Then i found this website and at that time, each person who reported gum disease also reported not having been to the dentist for 15 years or 23 years or so. I had been with a cleaning every 6 months for the past 25 years! I guess there was a run on people who hadn't gone to the dentist getting gum disease last year.
After going to 3 different dentists and talking with 2 or 3 more who were neighbors and friends, they all confirmed the diagnosis and I still did not want to believe it. So I know exactly how you feel. the day i made the appt to have my teeth pulled, I came home and cried and cried.
so good luck this afternoon! I hope your surgery works to keep these teeth you still have. As to bone loss, i have a lot but still i have enough bone to keep these teeth. She placed some of my own bone and some fake bone during the surgery in the hopes it would stimulate growth of my own bone. The bone loss, she said is from the bacteria eating away at the bone, so if i can get my pockets down to a reasonable number and do frequent cleanings to keep infections away, there will not be the problem of bacteria eating away the bone i have left. I am a few years older than you are and my dentist says my bone can partially grow back if i am lucky so yours might too. And if we make it long enuf they will learn how to grow teeth and maybe we will be candidates for that!!! I am not sure if they will be able to do that on people who lost them long ago. but we will see. keep your fingers crossed. the research has been successfull on 2 types of animals so far and i thing they are planning to test it on humans one of these days soon.

Old 06-08-2005, 06:54 AM   #14
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 95
kusum HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Thanks Lateeth it is great to know that they are able to succeed in growing the teeth. I am just wondering how your dentist kept your own bone during surgery. Where did he take it from?

Do your teeth look longer with gaps after the surgery?

I felt the same way when I looked at all those pictures on the net. My teeth and gums are no way looking like that..


Hope everything went well with you..

I am starting homeopathic treatment from tomorrow to see how I respond. If I respond well, my doctor will try some bone growth treatment too (long shot though - well it took 10 years to lose this bone right?). I am counting on bone grafts but I have still not talked about it to my doc.

Old 06-08-2005, 11:12 PM   #15
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 417
lateeth HB User
Re: Gum Flap Surgery Questions

Kusum, I had a ridge of bone(too much bone where it wasn't needed and not enuf where it was) so the dentist shaved off of there and put it where i needed it. She added in some spots some cadaver bone(sounds ugh but that is what they use and they clean it and sanitize it really well). It will take a year before we know if this bone stimulated my bone to grow back. My gums were not receded at all so the dentist was able to shave a bit away without them looking different than other peoples gums. I do have a line of yellow where the part of the tooth that was under the gum is now exposed. The dentist and her asst tell me no one can see it. That is probably true when i talk and even smile but i can see it in the mirror. did it go? we are hoping to hear from you.
LA Teeth

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