When gingivitis morphs into periodontal disease, you might find yourself struggling with everything from chronic bad breath to teeth that seem looser by the day. Fortunately, modern-day laser treatments have made resolving your symptoms easier than ever before. Here are three compelling reasons to ask your dentist about LANAP if you have periodontal disease.
1. Better Treatment Experience
Since periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that gathers between the teeth and the gum tissue, traditional treatments could be complex, bloody, and tremendously uncomfortable.
One treatment commonly used by dentists is scaling and root planing or pocket reduction surgery, which involves folding back the gum tissue around the tooth, physically scraping away diseased tissue and tartar, smoothing the surfaces of the tooth root, and then replacing the gum tissue and suturing the area.
In addition to being incredibly time-consuming, scaling and root planing wasn't always effective because of a large margin for error. If the dentist overlooks tartar or leaves diseased tissue in place, additional problems like infections can occur, especially if any tissue was damaged during the procedure. These inherent issues often lead to stressful periodontal treatments that were hard for patients to endure.
Fortunately, Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, or LANAP for short, is a fast, effective way to treat periodontal disease while improving the patient experience. During LANAP, a small periodontal laser is inserted into the pockets surrounding the tooth, where a special wavelength of light destroys bacteria and damaged tissue.
While the laser blasts away bacteria, it also cauterizes blood vessels and nerve endings on contact, resulting in a painless, blood-free procedure that is easier on patients. Additionally, since the process is completed in a fraction of the time, dentists can treat large sections of the mouth at one time, reducing session timeframes.
2. Reduce Your Chances of Infection
The light emitted from the laser probes is designed to shine through healthy tissues like dental enamel and gum tissue while being absorbed by bacteria and diseased tissue. In fact, research has shown that LANAP is capable of destroying as much as 99.9 percent of surrounding bacteria, significantly reducing a patient's chance of recurring infection.
Additionally, since the powerful light from lasers is capable of shining through healthy tissue, LANAP can help to sanitize tissues deeper than the pocket, helping to eliminate more disease around the tooth. After the entire area around the tooth has been treated, dentists can even use higher laser pulses to create a protective blood clot, which further speeds healing time.
With LANAP, patients experience fewer setbacks during their periodontal recovery, better breath immediately after the procedure, and less healthy tissue loss. In fact, patients who opt for LANAP typically enjoy fewer problems with gum recession, helping them to enjoy a healthy looking smile once again.
3. Simple Recovery
LANAP recovery is far more comfortable than recovering from other pocket reduction surgeries, especially since issues like bleeding and recurrent infections won't be a problem. While patients recovering from LANAP will need to eat a soft-foods diet for 24 hours following the procedure, they can resume their normal activities as soon as the day after.
Pain levels associated with LANAP are typically very low and can be controlled by over-the-counter antiinflammatory medications like ibuprofen. To put that kind of recovery into perspective, dentists explain that some patients recovering from traditional pocket reduction surgery can experience discomfort for months following the procedure, along with permanent changes to their gumline.
Periodontal disease treatment doesn't have to be hard. Here at the office of Lawrence J. Larsen, DDS, we offer a wide range of laser dental therapies, including treatments for gum disease. To learn more about our services, give us a call.