Laser Periodontal (Gum) Therapy is an amazing breakthrough in periodontal treatments. If you have been told you need scalpel and suture gum surgery, there's a laser alternative you need to learn about.
If you're like 100 million other Americans, you could be one of 50% of Americans who have periodontal disease, the major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can cause damage to the gums and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth!
If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages where bone loss and diseased pockets have formed (Periodontitis) Dr. Goodell will discuss your treatment options including:
What exactly is Laser Periodontal (gum)Therapy?
This Laser Periodontal Surgery is called LANAP™ or Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, and replaces the traditional gum scraping of scaling/root planing and the old bone surgery with its scalpels, sutures, and pain.
The Laser removes only the diseased tissue and leaves healthy tissue alone. The technique involves two passes with the laser, with ultrasonic cleaning of the pockets completed between the laser passes. Dr. Goodell will also adjust your bite at each appointment, a vital step in assuring proper healing.
A) Perio probe indicates excessive pocket depth.
B) Laser light removes bacteria and diseased tissue.
C) Ultrasonic scaler and special hand instruments are used to remove root surface tarter.
D) Laser finishes cleaning pocket and aids in sealing the pocket closed so new germs cannot enter.
E) Healing of gums to clean root surface occurs.
F) Bite trauma is adjusted
G) Healing occurs.
How much pain will I have?
There will likely be ZERO pain during the procedure. You will be completely numb and we can also use oral sedation to help you relax if you so choose. Post treatment pain is so different than traditional surgery because the laser promotes the body's healing process. You can expect some mild discomfort which is easily handled with analgesics. Patients who have had the LANAP™ laser gum surgery experience very little discomfort following the procedure and most often only have to take Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to feel comfortable.
How many appointments does it take?
We normally complete the treatment in two appointments which are scheduled one week apart. This is the best way to get rid of the bacteria that cause the disease and keep it from spreading into other teeth.
What exactly happens to my diseased pockets?
You can expect to have NEW gum attachment and bone formation in most of your pockets. This Laser LANAP™ Therapy is the only FDA cleared laser procedure that will actually give this result. Most Dentists treating gum disease with only "soft tissue management", and Scaling/Root Planing will only see REPAIRED attachment, which is far inferior to new gum and bone formation of the Laser procedure.
Is the Laser Periodontal Therapy a Cure for my Disease?
No. There is no cure for moderate/advanced periodontitis. The good news is that we can now treat it very effectively with the Laser LANAP™ therapy. Just like so many other diseases such as Diabetes, even though there is no cure, it can be successfully treated to allow you live with the disease under control .