Alternatives to Periodontal Surgery
Lasers: Less Is More
If you knew about a practically painless surgery that used a Laser instead of a scalpel, would you be more compelled to try it? For those who may have put off surgery out of fear, Lasers have changed the face of medicine, and now Lasers are changing the treatment of Periodontal (Gum) Disease.
Unfortunately, far too many people don’t get the gum disease treatment they need out of fear of going under the knife. Without periodontal treatment, patients face significant dental health risks, such as tooth and jawbone loss. Current research links Periodontal Disease to Systemic Diseases like Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Stroke. But a new pattened procedure called LANAP, an alternatives to gum surgery, is helping to change the grim outlook anxious dental patients once faced.
The LANAP Procedure
LANAP, which stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, uses an Nd:YAG Laser (Periolase MVP-7) to perform periodontal surgery that was once only possible using a scalpel. Developed by Millennium Dental Technologies, Inc., LANAP surgery is successful in treating gum disease with minimal trauma to the mouth. Only Periodontists, like Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Bogart, who have received advanced and intensive training are certified to use the Millennium Laser.
The Periolase MVP-7 removes the infection from beneath the gum line without compromising healthy gum tissue. LANAP is considered a regenerative procedure: Tissue is not reduced and in many instances bone is actually regenerated, without the use of bone grafting materials. The Periolase MVP-7 laser recognizes pigmentation, only destroying bacteria and infected gum tissue, which are darker in color than healthy gum tissue. The LANAP procedure also helps connective tissue and bone form between your teeth and gums, which could help minimize the chance of the infection returning.
The LANAP Procedure
The Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure consists of several simple steps:
LANAP Preparation —Digital X-rays will be taken, unless current X-rays are available, clinical photos, and probing of the entire mouth will be completed at your initial examination.
Anesthesia—Local anesthesia is used to keep you from feeling any discomfort. LANAP is non-invasive and normally doesn’t require any other form of sedation. But if you are an extremely fearful patient, you can speak with Dr. Jacobs or Dr. Bogart about your sedation options.
LANAP First Step—Once you are numb, the thin fiber of the LANAP laser is inserted between your teeth and gums to remove infected tissue and bacteria. The LANAP laser is extremely tiny (about the thickness of three hairs), designed to fit easily between your gums and teeth. This first pass of the laser removes the diseased pocket lining and kills the bacteria that cause gum disease.
Cleaning of the teeth and roots is accomplished with a Piezo Ultrasonic Scaler with antimicrobial irrigation and hand instrumentation. The bone is stimulated to open marrow spaces and release bone growth stimulating proteins.
LANAP Second Step—the heat from the LANAP laser seals the gums to form a fibrin clot. This clot acts as biological barrier and promotes healing. Finally the bite is checked to make sure the upper and lower teeth meet evenly. If there are any discrepancies, the teeth are gently modified to insure the forces of occlusion are evenly distributed.
Post-treatment care includes antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial medications. There are also dietary recommendations. You will be provided with a detailed list of easy to follow instructions after your initial consultaion.
The LANAP procedure usually consists of two 2.5 hour sessions and two follow-up visits.
Why Choose LANAP?
LANAP was designed to meet the growing need for pain-free dentistry. With LANAP, there are no scalpels or sutures and the healing time is greatly reduced. The majority of patients feel little to no discomfort during and after the LANAP procedure, reducing the need for post-operative pain medications. Recovery from LANAP surgery often takes less than a day, and most patients are able to return to work soon afterwards. Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Bogart will give you personalized and specific post-operative care instructions.
Other benefits of using the LANAP laser include:
- Less time spent in the dental chair
- Less mouth trauma caused by the traditional scalpel and sutures procedure
- Less pain, bleeding and swelling
- Easier healing and a faster recovery
- Less gum recession compared to the results of traditional gum surgery
- No need to discontinue blood thinners
- Alternative to Conventional Periodontal Surgery
- Improved, longer-lasting results
One Final Note on LANAP
The Periolase MVP-7 Laser has not entirely eliminated the use of the scalpel. You may still need traditional gum surgery for some procedures. And while LANAP surgery may reduce your progression of gum disease, you still have to practice good oral hygiene and have regular dental visits to help maintain your results. If you’re interested in the LANAP: Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, Dr.Jacobs and Dr. Bogart can help.