At Periodontal & Implant Associates of Greater Washington, periodontist Dr. Karl A. Rose is pleased to be able to offer the most advanced treatment available for periodontal disease: LANAP, or Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, a minimally invasive procedure designed to remove the infection and encourage the reversal of the damage it has caused. LANAP is not suitable in all cases, but when it is, it has proven to be highly effective at boosting the body's natural healing and allowing the mouth to recover from serious periodontal infections.
Healthy teeth are kept in your mouth by a strong and balanced system of supporting structures: a well of alveolar bone in which the tooth sits, periodontal ligaments connecting tooth to bone, soft cementum supporting the periodontal ligaments, and healthy gum tissue tightly surrounding the tooth. When periodontal disease strikes, it threatens all the connective structures that keep your teeth in their sockets. The gums loosen, and both the periodontal ligaments and bone can be destroyed by the infection, causing deep periodontal pockets to form around the tooth roots and eventually to separate the teeth entirely from the jaw. The longer an infection remains undisrupted, the more tartar collects on the tooth roots, increasing the infection and irritation of the tissues and accelerating the destruction. To treat periodontal disease, these pockets of infection must be destroyed, and the tissues encouraged to regrow and reattach to the tooth.
Our LANAP treatment is exactly what the doctor ordered to begin this process of regrowth. LANAP rids the periodontal pockets of bacteria, tartar, and diseased tissue, and encourages new attachments to form, sealing the gums around the tooth once more. The results are similar to those of surgical procedures performed in the past, but far less invasive, allowing for less pain, no sutures, and faster procedure and healing times. Furthermore, the use of our surgical laser allows us to be precise in removing only diseases tissue, while leaving the healthy gum tissue intact. LANAP is even less expensive than traditional methods in most cases, making it the best treatment option for suitable cases on all fronts.
Like all dental procedures, LANAP is designed for patients at a certain stage of their periodontal disease. LANAP is effective after the tooth has begun to detach from its connective tissues and the periodontal pockets have begun to deepen, but before the process has gone too far to reverse. Typically this means patients with periodontal pockets measuring 5mm or more, for whom other treatments are not sufficient. If your periodontal pockets are still shallow, a basic scaling and root planing, in which tartar is manually removed from the tooth surface above and below the gumline, is more likely to produce the desired results. At the other extreme, if a case is too far advanced, the tooth may become unsalvageable, and extraction followed by missing tooth replacement becomes the best option. As with any dental health condition, the sooner you can interrupt the process of decay, the easier recovery will be.
Don't wait until an infection worsens. Periodontal disease is self-aggravating and will not heal on its own or with normal home care. If you are experiencing the symptoms of gum disease, such as sore or bleeding gums or persistent bad breath, you should schedule an exam as soon as possible. The same is true if you're about to begin any medical treatment which might compromise your immune system. Existing periodontal infections can cause severe complications in patients receiving common treatments for cancer or osteoporosis. Even if you are healthy, gum disease is linked to increased rates of heart disease and other serious conditions.
If you haven't had a dental exam within the last six months, please contact us to schedule an exam today!