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  • Writer's pictureDr Changjie Guo

Operculectomy: A Minor Surgery For Wisdom Teeth.

When a third molar, or wisdom tooth have not enough room in the very back of the mouth, there is often a flap of gum (operculum) overlying the tooth. Infection and inflammation (pericoronitis) can develop by an accumulation of bacteria and food that becomes trapped under operculum. 

What is operculectomy?

Operculectomy is the removal of the flap of gum overlying a tooth. The procedure is designed to help you clean the area more easily, prevent plaque buildup and reduce the chance of inflammation coming back. It is a very simple procedure. Local anaesthetic is given to numb the area and a surgical scalpel or laser is used to remove the tissue. No stitches are usually needed.

Operculectomy vs Extraction?

Operculectomy is a less invasive option that helps preserve the tooth. It's possible that the operculum may grow back and the operculectomy may need to be repeated. If the infection comes back or the wisdom tooth is causing other problems, extraction may be the better option.

In this case, the soft tissue was removed by incising with a scalpel. Now the wisdom tooth was fully exposed and it's easy to keep the area clean with normal brushing and flossing.


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