You may have heard of laser periodontal treatment but still not know a lot about how it works. If you have any stage or severity of gum disease, all the way from gingivitis to advanced periodontitis, you can greatly benefit from this kind of treatment.
Modern dentistry can do amazing things with lasers, including removing infected gum tissue and killing harmful bacteria. For most patients, laser gum surgery is the most effective and most convenient solution to gum disease available.
While root scaling and planing, gum flap surgery, soft tissue grafts, bone grafts, PST grafts, and other forms of periodontal treatment still have their place, laser periodontal treatment is considered the top-tier method for good reason. Here are 10 of the most important benefits it offers those suffering from gum disease.
1. Little to No Gum Bleeding & Swelling
One of the reasons so many people who suspect they may be developing gum disease delay to see the dentist or periodontist is fear – fear of the treatment. With laser gum surgery, however, there really is nothing to fear “but fear itself.” The fact is, most patients who undergo laser periodontal treatment experience little to no pain and little to no bleeding and swelling of the gums.
When the LANAP handheld laser is put into the hands of a well-trained periodontist, bad gum tissue is simply vaporized in a nearly painless process that takes only a matter of hours in a single sitting. The laser not only removes infected tissue but also cauterizes the wound so that bleeding is prevented and the healing process is sped up significantly.
This also reduces the amount of swelling of the gums that patients can expect post-op as compared to other methods like scaling and planing.
2. Kills Bacteria Even in Deep Periodontal Pockets
Re-infection rates are much lower for those who treat their gum disease with laser periodontal treatment – and for good reason. The laser beam actually destroys infectious bacteria upon contact. Laser treatment can do a much more thorough job of eliminating harmful bacteria than other methods.
The LANAP laser used in laser periodontal treatment has several different pulse settings so that it can be safely used for several different tasks. Killing off bacteria festering on your tooth surfaces is one of these tasks. LANAP uses an initial shot of light to eliminate bacteria, followed up by a second wave that safely cauterizes the tissue to form a clot.
The laser can also get down into deep periodontal pockets between the teeth and below the gum line. This is often where the worst part of the infection resides – where bacterial colonies are “most populous.” The LANAP laser wipes them out very effectively.
3. Laser Periodontal Treatment Is Non-invasive
With laser periodontal treatment, there is no need for a scalpel since no cutting is to be done other than with a laser beam that self-cauterizes as it “cuts.”
This is considered a “non-invasive” surgery, in medical talk. What that means to you is less pain, less complication, less overall risk. There is no need for dental sutures either since only by physically cutting or pulling back the gum tissue would a need arise for this kind of stitches.
4. Preservation of More Healthy Gum Tissue
One of the drawbacks of traditional gum surgery is that a good deal of healthy gum tissue must be lost in the process of removing unhealthy tissue to which it is directly attached. A good periodontist minimizes this loss regardless of the type of treatment, but with non-laser-based treatments, it is impossible to avoid.
With laser periodontal treatment, however, all that changes. The laser can precisely stop at the exact spot where the infection stops. Being a “smart” laser, it can actually differentiate between good and bad tissue and vaporize only the infected tissue.
5. Regeneration of Gum, Bone, & Ligament Tissue
Not only do modern gum treatment lasers leave healthy gum tissue untouched, but they also help your gums to rejuvenate and regenerate themselves following the surgery.
The laser stimulates the gums to grow naturally post-op. And it can also do the same for bone tissue and ligaments below the teeth. Since a certain amount of surrounding bone mass is necessary to prevent loose teeth or tooth loss, this last aspect should not be under-appreciated.
6. Less Anxiety in the Dental Chair!
It’s almost pedantic to say that the five above-listed benefits of laser periodontal treatment make it much less intimidating to sit in the dental chair awaiting periodontal treatment.
In fact, the lower pain threshold means less anesthetic is necessary, and few ever need to use dental sedation. This stands in stark contrast to the realities of planing and scaling and most other periodontal treatment procedures.
7. You Can Get Tooth Treatment Simultaneously
The same LANAP laser used to treat infected gum tissue can also be used to remove bacteria from a tooth cavity. It can be used for a root canal or similar procedure or to clean out a tooth socket following an extraction.
Plus, the laser effectively cleans the surfaces of your teeth, and that can include below the gum line.
Modern dental lasers are very versatile and have many wavelength and power settings. For example, lasers are now used to prepare a tooth for a filling, to harden a filling, and for in-office teeth-whitening treatment. You can often schedule some of these laser-performed procedures for the same day as your laser periodontal treatment visit.
8. Laser Periodontal Treatment Is Fast & Convenient
For many with busy schedules, laser periodontal treatment is attractive simply because it can normally be done in a single dental visit – plus a follow-up visit or two weeks later to ensure the healing process is proceeding properly. And the procedure itself may take only a few hours. This makes it much easier to fit into a busy schedule.
Plus, the recovery time is very quick – you can be back to work in 24 to 48 hours at most. Soft diet restrictions and other post-op special care instructions may only apply for days or weeks at most – not the many months of lifestyle restrictions required by traditional gum treatment.
9. Laser Gum Surgery Can Be Affordable
Many people wrongly assume laser periodontal treatment will be a lot more expensive than other procedures. Quite often, the cost differential is marginal, and since the treatment course is shorter, you have fewer dental visits to pay for. Plus, dental insurance normally covers this kind of procedure, considering it “necessary.”
10. You Leave the Office With Your Natural Smile!
You may not realize how destructive gum disease can be until you get it and it affects your smile. Other gum disease treatments may require months of healing before your smile is back to normal again, but not laser periodontal treatment. You leave the office with an immediate smile!
To learn more about laser periodontal treatment and whether it is right for you, contact Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry in Central Florida today! We can give you a free, no-obligation phone consultation and schedule an in-person meeting at your convenience.