Periodontal disease begins when bacteria and tartar beneath the gum line infect and inflame the tissues that support the teeth. Early stages of periodontal disease are referred to as gingivitis, which can typically be corrected with daily brushing, flossing, and regular professional teeth cleanings. However, left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis and cause the gums to pull away from the teeth forming pockets of infected tissue.
Severe gum disease will not resolve without professional intervention, and gum surgery may be required for treatment. For patients in need of periodontal surgery, the choice between traditional and laser treatment is critical. Learn the key differences of laser gum surgery Vs. traditional gum surgery to select the best option for you.
Benefits of LANAP Laser Periodontal Therapy
Laser treatment for gum disease is the newest and most advanced method available to rectify periodontitis. This new FDA-approved Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) has steadily increased in popularity. With minimal side effects and low risk of complications associated with the procedure, LANAP continues to demonstrate effectiveness for patients suffering from gum disease.
LANAP is a less invasive treatment for patients suffering from gum disease when compared to traditional gum surgery. The LANAP treatment process utilizes laser technology to gently remove diseased and harmful bacteria from the gum tissue while maintaining healthy gum tissue surrounding the teeth. Pulse duration and rate of repetitions allow surgeons to remove infected tissue without the risk of causing harm to healthy gum tissue through variations of the lasers energy density. Once the damaged tissue has been removed, and the pocket has been cleaned, the laser is then used to compress the gum tissue against the root surface. The pocket is sealed with a fibrin cloth rather than surgical glue or sutures.
Traditional Gum Surgery Options
In severe cases of periodontitis, traditional gum surgery may be required. Traditional gum surgery also referred to as flap surgery and requires cutting into and peeling back of the infected gum tissue. By doing so, the roots of the teeth are able to be thoroughly cleaned, and a scalpel can remove the infected gum tissue. Sutures are used to secure gums back in place, requiring more prolonged recovery time.
Key Benefits of LANAP
Pain. Traditional gum surgery can be excruciating as it requires cutting and suturing of the sensitive gum tissue. Post-operative pain medication is typically prescribed, and an adequate amount of time to rest is necessary as part of the recovery process. LANAP protocol causes considerably less discomfort and rarely requires post-operative pain medication to relieve discomfort.
Recession. LANAP is less invasive and more selective. The laser removes only damaged tissue and does not impact nearby healthy gum and bone, resulting in no significant gum line recession. This preserves the natural appearance of the patient’s smile. Traditional periodontal surgery requires that the gum line be cut down to decrease pocket depth. Gumline recession is usually between 2-4mm; however, in severe cases of periodontitis, the gum line may recede as much as 10-15 mm. The recessed gum line exposes tooth roots, which can be particularly sensitive to hot and cold, causing the patient discomfort while eating or drinking.
Healing. Patients can enjoy a decreased risk of infection, sensitivity, and post-surgery bleeding. LANAP patients can expect a recovery time of 24 hours with minimal discomfort. LANAP doesn’t require surgical cutting and sutures and is selective in the tissue it removes, allowing for rapid healing.
Results That Last. LANAP results are much more predictable in terms of bone regeneration and tissue attachment. This unique laser technology stimulates the root surface and promotes regeneration and attachment. Patients show further improvement after LANAP protocol as regeneration and reattachment continue after the procedure is complete.
When LANAP Isn’t an Option
Advanced Laser gum treatment is an excellent option for many patients; however, it may not be suitable for all cases. Severe periodontitis often requires traditional surgery to correct significant gum tissue issues. Call Premier Dental Center today to schedule a consultation and find out if LANAP could be your solution to achieving optimal periodontal health!