While periodontal disease can be effectively treated with manual cleanings, LANAP is faster, less painful, and more effective.
Although many people don’t even realize they have it, gum disease affects nearly half of all American adults. The condition starts off slowly, making gums slightly red and tender, but quickly progresses into full-blown gum disease and then periodontitis. It is caused by bacteria beneath the gumline, which move deeper and deeper as the tissue becomes more irritated.
Because gum disease is so invasive, it can be difficult to treat. However, modern laser dentistry can be used to target diseased tissue and sanitize the tooth pockets, stopping gum disease in its tracks. LANAP treatment, which stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, is a gentle yet highly effective treatment for gum disease.
During LANAP treatment, a small pen-like tool with a tiny laser probe attached to the end is used to clean out the pockets that gingivitis has created around your teeth. The laser light emitted from the probe is selective, meaning that it only destroys diseased tissue while leaving healthy tissue intact.
Traditional gum disease treatment involved incisions, both to expose the diseased interior of the gum pockets and to remove the surface of those pockets. However, because there is no cutting involved with LANAP treatment, bleeding is almost completely eliminated. Research has also shown that patients who undergo LANAP tend to have gums that bleed less after surgery too, which makes brushing and flossing more convenient moving forward.
The light emitted from the small laser probe during LANAP treatment also sanitizes the area inside the pockets, which effectively stops gum disease from progressing. After the laser destroys diseased tissue and sanitizes the area, periodontist Dr. Karl A. Rose will use an ultrasonic planing device to smooth out the surface of the teeth underneath the gum line. This process creates an even, level area for the gums to reattach and makes it harder for bacteria to thrive. This sanitation process also helps to ward off post-surgical infections, so patients don’t have to worry about complications.
The lack of incisions during LANAP also helps to speed healing time for patients. Instead of worrying about caring for stitches and returning for multiple follow-up appointments, patients can simply let their gums heal themselves, since the area around the gums is clean and sanitized. Recovery is quicker this way and much more convenient.
One negative side effect stemming from traditional gum disease treatment was gum recession. Because flaps were made in the gums around the affected teeth and peeled back, some patients experienced gum recession as a result of their treatment. However, because LANAP only involves pushing a small probe in the pockets that are already there, patients can enjoy less gum recession, improving their looks.
Periodontists like Dr. Rose receive an extra three years of specialized dental training to focus on the anatomy of the teeth, gums, and the treatment of gum disease. Few periodontists have as much experience with soft tissue lasers as Dr. Rose, because he specializes in the advanced treatment of periodontal disease. If you are interested in having Dr. Rose treat your gum disease with cutting-edge LANAP technology, contact us today!