As technology continues to revolutionize dental care, today’s patients can benefit from less painful, minimally invasive ways to treat serious oral conditions like gum disease. Among those methods is utilizing laser technology to treat moderate to severe cases of periodontitis. While dental lasers have been around for quite some time, new research continues to prove their effectiveness especially when compared to traditional gum disease treatments.
While Laser Periodontal Treatment offers many benefits, you may be wondering if it’s really the best option for you. The answer ultimately depends on numerous factors including the severity of your condition as well as your overall health. Your periodontist is the best resource to help you determine if you’re a candidate for this innovative procedure. However, we’ll review some of the latest information on Laser Periodontal Treatment including its benefits and some high level guidance on whether this option could work for you.
What Is Laser Periodontal Treatment?
Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, also known as LANAP, is a highly effective periodontitis treatment that uses a high-powered laser in order to help remove inflamed gum tissue and sterilize the gums around your teeth. The laser is powerful, but very tiny — it’s only the width of about 3 human hairs. What makes it effective is its ability to distinguish between healthy gums and infected gums based on color (infected gums are usually darker), which makes it extremely precise. The laser is then able to eliminate infected gum tissue and sterilize the surrounding area. Then, your periodontist is able to effectively remove additional plaque, remove root surface accretions, and smooth over the gum area without the need to make an incision.
By eliminating diseased portions of the gums and disinfecting the area around the teeth, laser treatment helps promote healing, regeneration, and ultimately improves gum stability much faster than some more invasive periodontitis treatments like flap surgery.
The treatment itself is very safe and is usually done over the course of one or two office visits. In order to perform this procedure, a periodontist must complete extensive training and become certified. Depending on the severity of the case, LANAP can be used in conjunction with other gum disease treatments.
What Are The Benefits Of Laser Periodontal Treatment?
First and foremost, LANAP is very effective at treating gum disease. In fact, studies have shown that laser treatment may decrease the chance of periodontitis related tooth loss when compared to more traditional treatments. There is also evidence to suggest patients who receive laser treatment may experience fewer flare-ups or recurring cases of gum disease in the future.
In addition to its overall effectiveness, LANAP also has several other benefits over traditional gum disease treatments that make it an appealing choice:
- Shorter Recovery – Laser treatment is minimally invasive — it doesn’t require any incisions, and it sterilizes the area. As a result, there is usually a much shorter healing time especially when compared to other periodontitis treatments. This also means fewer follow-up visits and less eating restrictions. It also means your gums can stabilize and recover in a shorter period of time, which can decrease the chance of tooth loss.
- Lasers Are More Precise – Lasers are designed to target and treat unhealthy, infected tissue with precise accuracy. With a laser, you can eliminate only unhealthy tissue, while leaving behind what’s left of your healthy gums. The ability to leave healthy gums 100% intact also decreases the chance of tooth loss. Additionally, the laser’s wavelength and power can be adjusted to provide customized treatment based on your condition.
- It’s Less Painful – Laser treatment isn’t pain-free, but it is significantly less painful than other periodontitis treatments. There is no cutting or stitches involved with this procedure. As a result, it can easily be performed in a short office visit without the need for general anesthesia. However, your dentist may numb your mouth before the treatment to minimize mild pain and discomfort.
- It Minimizes Chances For Additional Infection – The lasers not only target and remove unhealthy tissue, but also sterilize the area. This means patients are less likely to experience additional infections during the recovery period.
- It Won’t Impact Your Smile There are no incisions, sutures, or bleeding following laser treatment. This means there won’t be any visible changes to your smile when you leave the office.
- It’s Covered By Many Insurance Policies – While laser treatment can be expensive, the good news is most insurance policies cover some or all of the expense.
Do I Qualify For Laser Periodontal Treatment?
Laser treatment is an option for most cases of moderate to severe gum disease; however, exceptions do apply. There are some cases too severe to treat with LANAP alone and grafting or gum flap surgeries might be the only option. In other cases, your periodontist may recommend a combination of laser treatment with more traditional options.
While this procedure is very safe, there are some rare cases where it may not be recommended based on a health condition or prescription medication. As a result, your periodontist will need to do an extensive review of your medical history before officially recommending the procedure.
Dental lasers have been used for decades and they continue to become more advanced. The lasers used in LANAP are FDA approved and acknowledged by the ADA for their effectiveness in treating periodontitis. While Laser Periodontal Treatment has many benefits, your best treatment option will depend on your specific condition and health history. As a result, it’s a good idea to work with your periodontist to create a customized treatment plan.
Not every periodontist is licensed and certified to perform laser treatment for gum disease. If you’re seeking care for periodontitis and would like to explore Laser Periodontal Treatment in Central Florida, contact us at Ormond Beach Periodontics today. Our practice always invests in the latest and safest technology in order to provide our patients with the most effective treatment options.