Millions of Americans yearly suffer from gum disease, yet only a small percentage receive treatment. Gum disease has been linked to various health complications, including but not limited to heart disease, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, and low birth-weight babies. Gum disease is an epidemic in this country and around the world. Until now, most treatment options included invasive surgery involving cutting the gum tissue down and suturing it back together or extracting the teeth and recommending dentures or dental implants. But the day has finally arrived when patients do not have to fear or put off getting treatment! LANAP® laser gum surgery is an excellent alternative to traditional osseous surgery that we offer in Lexington, MA.
With the introduction of the PerioLase® MVP-7™and the LANAP® protocol (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure), we can remove and kill only the bacteria within the pockets of your gums while leaving the healthy tissue behind to reattach to the root surface! Why is this important? You can now enjoy less pain, less discomfort, less recession, less sensitivity, and much better and more predictable long-term results.
FDA-Approved LANAP® Treatment
LANAP® is the first and only FDA-cleared laser protocol on the market and has been proven through extensive science and research studies in the United States and abroad. It is the highest standard of care available in the world for treating periodontal disease. We can often save teeth previously deemed hopeless by naturally regenerating the bone around the tooth.
If saving your teeth, reducing your pocket depths, and maintaining optimum periodontal health is essential, this is a treatment you must consider!
Beware of Phony Laser Treatments and False Advertisements!
This is the ONLY FDA-cleared protocol for the treatment of periodontitis! It is also the ONLY laser with the science, research, and human histological studies to PROVE its claims! No matter what clinician you decide to get laser treatment from, be sure your doctor is Certified, and they are using the PerioLase® MVP-7™.
Laser Gum Surgery (LANAP®) vs. Traditional Gum Surgery
Suppose you have been told that periodontal disease and surgery will be required. In that case, knowing the difference between traditional gum surgery (which utilizes a scalpel and sutures) and laser surgery is essential.
Traditional surgery typically utilizes a scalpel so the doctor can reflect the gum tissue for visibility to clean the pocket and reduce the depth. The pocket depth is reduced by cutting away tissue. Often, bone grafting or membrane materials are needed to reattach the gum tissue to the tooth’s root surface. Although, in some cases, the only way to treat the patient is by traditional surgery, most patients we see opt for the less invasive and more comfortable LANAP® or Laser Gum Surgery.
LANAP® does not require the use of a blade or sutures. It is a minimally invasive surgery that results in very little recession and pain for the patient. The laser operates at a wavelength that can distinguish between diseased and healthy tissue. This means the laser is extremely safe and selective when used in surgery. For the first time, we can remove the diseased tissue and bacteria from your gums without harming, cutting, or removing healthy tissue!
Some Key Differences Between Traditional Gum Surgery and LANAP®
There are differences between gum surgery and laser procedures that can include:
Traditional surgery can be pretty painful and require pain medication and downtime. Many patients opt for dental implants to avoid the pain involved in gum surgery. LANAP® involves much less discomfort. There is rarely a need to prescribe pain medication, and the patients can usually return to work and continue their daily routine.
Because traditional surgery requires a blade, there is no getting away from the gum line being reduced. The question is how much. Traditional surgery can lower the gum line from 2-4 mm to 10-15mm. LANAP® is much less invasive and more selective in the tissue that it cuts… This results in little to no recession of the gum line. This is a significant difference because recession can lead to several aesthetic problems for the patient and cause the teeth to become very sensitive to cold and hot temperatures.
The healing time for LANAP® is much faster because it is a new technology that is less invasive than scalpel surgery. The laser kills the bacteria in your pockets, resulting in a reduction of inflammation and healthier tissue.
Although we can have fantastic long-term results with both treatments, LANAP® is far more predictable regarding bone regeneration and connective reattachment of the tissue. The laser stimulates the bone surrounding the tooth’s root and has been proven to encourage regeneration. Often it saves teeth that would have previously been extracted. We can often reverse the effects of periodontal disease, and the patient will get better as time progresses.
In conclusion, as technology evolves and breakthroughs are made in dentistry, we are committed to keeping up and offering our patients the latest and most advanced treatments to provide the highest standard of care. Many patients can use a laser to treat gum disease, although not every patient is a candidate for laser treatment.
The LANAP® Procedure
The first step of this laser treatment is to measure the depth of your periodontal pockets using a probe. This will tell us how deep the pockets are and how much attachment loss has occurred. Then, we use a pulsed laser light to remove the diseased tissue from the pocket and kill bacteria that cause gum disease. Because the laser light is not absorbed in water, healthy tissue, root, or bone, this surgery is much less invasive and more comfortable for the patient.
We remove calculus from the root surface of the teeth. Tiny ultrasonic scalers remove the deposits of calculus that form underneath the gum line. The laser will not remove this by itself, but it will denature the calculus resulting in better removal with the ultrasonic.
We secondarily use the laser at the bottom of the pocket to stimulate the soft tissue, root, and bone. This also causes the blood to become sticky, forming a seal around the teeth. This creates a clean, closed, and stable environment for healing to begin. The tissue is recompressed against the root surface of the teeth, and no sutures are required. Finally, the doctor will adjust your bite to ensure there is not much trauma on any of your teeth. Especially the ones that have bone loss.
Laser Dentistry FAQs
Learn more about dental lasers and laser gum treatment with answers to these common questions:
How do lasers work in dentistry?
All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. In surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue with which it comes in contact. When used for “curing” a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the filling and the tooth. In teeth whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-beaching agents.
Why do you use the PerioLase® MVP-7™?
The PerioLase® MVP-7™ is the only FDA-cleared laser with human histology research supporting its claims for treating gum disease. This laser is also highly selective in the tissue that it removes.
Is there less pain involved with laser procedures?
Typically there is much less pain, discomfort, and bleeding involved in laser dentistry. LANAP® is a prime example. Instead of traditional gum surgery, we can treat your gums with the laser without the cutting and sutures previously needed. The laser eliminates bacteria and diseased tissue without harming the healthy tissue. The result is less pain, less recession, and less discomfort!
Is laser dentistry more expensive?
Laser dentistry is usually about the same or perhaps a bit more expensive. Most doctors have a laser because it provides a better patient experience or is a necessary tool for a procedure they cannot do without a laser. All fees can be different from dentist to dentist. In most cases, the benefits far out weight the cost.
Are dental lasers safe?
If the dental laser is used according to accepted practices by a trained practitioner, then it is at least as safe as other dental instruments. However, just as you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from prolonged exposure to the light when your dentist performs a laser procedure, you will wear special eyeglasses to protect your eyes from the laser.
How can I be sure my dentist is adequately trained to use a laser?
Ask your dentist questions about the extent of his or her laser education and training. Ensure that your dentist has participated in educational courses and received training from the manufacturer. Many dental schools, associations, and the Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) offer dental laser education. The ALD is the profession’s independent source for current dental laser education and credentialing.
How will I know if treatment with a dental laser is an option for me?
Ask your dentist. Although the laser is a very useful dental instrument, it is inappropriate for every dental procedure.
Ask us About Laser Dentistry
We welcome our patients to ask about laser dentistry treatment and how it can improve their smiles. Call our Lexington dental office at 781.384.5892 or our Concord dental office at 978.391.6081.