Gum disease is not fun. In addition to bleeding, chronic inflammation, and bad breath, it can also result in numerous oral and physical health conditions including tooth loss, bone infections, cardiovascular problems, and even cognitive disorders. However, gum disease is very common and if you do happen to develop it, there is no need to worry. It’s never been easier to treat it.
As dental technology continues to evolve, there are more tools and treatments to help improve patient outcomes and minimize discomfort than ever before. One of the best technologies to emerge over the past few decades is laser periodontal treatment, also known as Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP). This procedure, which leverages a laser to selectively target and destroy diseased tissue, was first done in 1994 and has since become a popular alternative to traditional gum disease treatments thanks to its many benefits.
Today, it is used by dentists and periodontists all over the world. Thanks to this innovative treatment, patients don’t have to undergo a surgical procedure to recover from gum disease. LANAP is a highly effective, less invasive, and very convenient option, especially when compared to flap surgery. The best part is patients love it, and here are three reasons why:
1. It’s Highly Effective
To understand why laser periodontal treatment is so effective, it’s important to understand how it works. During LANAP, your periodontist will use a high-powered laser that is capable of targeting diseased tissue with a high degree of accuracy. The laser is able to detect infected tissue because it appears darker in color than healthy tissue. In addition to bacteria, the laser also eliminates the build-up of plaque and tartar on the gums and teeth. It essentially sterilizes the gums.
The laser itself is incredibly powerful, but also very thin (only about the width of three hairs). After running it over the gums, your periodontist will do some additional sanitization of your gums and scrape off any extra plaque. Finally, the laser will then be used to stimulate the growth of healthy new gum tissue and help it reattach to the teeth in order to eliminate any entry point for bacteria in the future.
Numerous clinical studies have proven LANAP is an effective treatment for patients with severe gum disease due to its ability to promote the refurbishing of new tissue. In these studies, patients showed a significant reduction in pocket depth and a major gain in clinical attachment levels after completing treatment. Of course, many factors can influence outcomes including the severity of the gum disease, bone loss, and the patient’s overall oral hygiene; however, dental professionals consider LANAP to be an excellent treatment.
2. It’s Minimally Invasive
LANAP does not require incisions or sutures, unlike periodontal flap surgery, which has been a common gum disease treatment for many decades. While flap surgery is highly effective, it requires incisions to be made in the gum tissue to allow them to be lifted away from the teeth. Sutures are used to close the gap between the teeth and lifted gums.
While pain is managed through local anesthesia, sedation dentistry, and other strategies, flap surgery can be followed by a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery period. While this invasive procedure is necessary for some severe cases of gum disease, many patients would prefer to avoid it if possible. Thanks to LANAP you can.
Laser periodontal treatment is a great alternative for those who are nervous about traditional surgery. By using a laser to remove the tissue, there is no need for an incision which means less pain and a quicker recovery. Local anesthesia will also be applied prior to laser periodontal treatment, so discomfort should be minimal. The laser is also able to cauterize the gums which significantly reduces bleeding. Last and most importantly, LANAP promotes healthy tissue growth, which means long-term patient outcomes are very favorable.
3. It’s Convenient
For patients looking to resolve their gum disease as quickly and easily as possible, LANAP is a convenient solution that makes life much easier. One of the best parts about laser periodontal treatment is it can be administered over one or two office visits with each visit lasting less than two hours. Patients also fully recover in just a couple of days. You can even return to work immediately following the procedure. While your diet may need to be restricted to soft foods for a day or two, you can resume normal eating habits within days of the procedure as well. Because LANAP is minimally invasive, there is also significantly less risk of infection post-procedure; however, it’s still incredibly important to practice good oral hygiene and keep your mouth clean.
Compare this to flap surgery, which is often done over a series of appointments and has a lengthy, uncomfortable recovery period with food restrictions, and you’ll find LANAP is much more convenient.
Am I A Candidate For Laser Periodontal Treatment?
If you have moderate to severe gum disease with pocket depths between 5 and 6 millimeters, you’re likely a great candidate for LANAP. Patients who still have infected gums despite previous treatments may also be candidates. The procedure is very safe and suitable for almost everyone. It can even be safe during pregnancy. Some conditions and medications may disqualify you, so be sure to review your medical history with your periodontist to determine if the procedure is right for you.
If your gum disease is mild, LANAP may not be necessary. Instead, your periodontist may recommend a different treatment strategy including antimicrobial mouthwash and an improved oral hygiene routine.
LANAP is a revolutionary treatment that offers patients a wide range of benefits. With this procedure, patients with gum disease don’t need to choose between good oral health and painful surgery.
Unfortunately, not all periodontists are licensed to perform laser periodontal treatment, so you’ll want to find one that is qualified and experienced. At Ormond Beach Periodontics, we’ve been offering this innovative procedure for many years to patients from all over Central Florida. If you suffer from gum disease, contact us to schedule your consultation today.