Before beginning the procedure, the area will be numbed using local anesthesia. An incision is made in the gum tissue around the area that will be treated. The gum is then lifted away from the tooth and the underlying bone so that there is direct access to the area. The surface of the tooth is then thoroughly cleaned of any plaque or tartar buildup. Next, the surface of the bone will be smoothed. Bacteria that are trapped in the pockets around the tooth can destroy bone tissue, making it uneven and rough. In order to ensure proper healing, smoothing the bone of these rough surfaces is necessary. Bone grafting procedures are sometimes performed if defects in the bone need to be filled.
After the root of the tooth has been cleaned and the bone smoothed, the gum tissue is then trimmed to match the new underlying structure and stitched into place. The stitches are placed to hold the gum tissue in the correct position as it heals.