Laser Periodontal Treatment Is Extremely Safe
Modern lasers, like the LANAP system, are used by trained periodontists to treat even severe periodontitis with little to no pain, bleeding, or swelling of the gums. This is a much less invasive and less painful procedure than most other forms of periodontal treatment.
Additionally, laser surgery of the gums means you are done (typically) in one sitting and it only takes a one to three hours on average, depending on the severity and extent of gum infection. Lasers safely cut away and “vaporize” away diseased gum tissue, and they seal the wound and stimulate gum growth at the same time.
Because different pulse strengths are used with the handheld laser device to match the task to be performed, there is little risk of gum damage or of cutting off any more than the minimal amount of tissue. In fact, those things almost never happen.
As there are no incisions made and no sutures needed for healing, laser periodontal surgery is very low risk and allows gums to heal significantly faster. Most people are back to work within 24 hours, stay on a liquid diet for only 72 hours, and can eat solid foods again within 2 weeks.
Finally, because laser treatment more effectively eradicates harmful bacteria, the risks of re-infection is also lower than with traditional treatment methods.
Keeping Things Safe Post-op
We already mentioned that you should follow a liquid and then soft food diet in the short term following laser periodontal treatment, as prescribed by your periodontist; but there are other post-op “safety tips” as well that you should be aware of.
First of all, have someone else drive you home after the procedure, if at all possible, even if you didn’t use any anesthetic or dental sedation (which many do not with this kind of periodontal treatment.) Next, try to rest as much as possible for the first 24 hours.
Most can return to their normal daily routines after only a day or two, but you still want to guard your gums from any unnecessary pain or damage. Touching your gums, chewing hard foods, eating spicy foods, or just chewing gum could cause pain, and be sure not to brush or floss near the affected areas for up to 10 days. The rest of your mouth can receive normal oral care during this time period – but brush gently.
Don’t be alarmed if you feel a small amount of swelling and/or notice light bleeding of the gums on occasion. A tiny bit of soreness is normal. And blood flow in the gums treated is actually a sign that they are healing.
After about 2 weeks, you should have a follow up visit with your periodontist to verify the healing process is on schedule.
For more information on laser periodontal treatment, or to set an appointment, contact Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik today!