The invention concerns a method for controlling a structure comprising field emitting elements. The structure comprises a cathode (1) provided with field emitting elements, an anode (2), an extraction grid (7) and a supplementary grid (14). The method comprises at least a step which consists in emitting electrons by the field emitting elements, towards the anode, and at least a regeneration phase wherein the electrons derived from the elements are not transmitted to the anode. The regeneration phase is carried out by applying on the supplementary grid (14) a potential (VB) blocking the electrons which return to the cathode. The invention is applicable to flat image display screens and to any device comprising a field emitting cathode (X-ray tube, and the like).