If you’re suffering from gum disease, there are many treatment options available. The only way to stop or reverse the effects of gingivitis or periodontitis is to physically remove the harmful bacteria, plaque and tartar from underneath your gums. Since the possibilities of treatment range from simple oral hygiene to surgical procedures, there is sure to be an option that is right for you. Laser gum surgery is one of the newest treatments available for gum disease, and it might be your best bet.
One effective method for treating gum disease is a procedure called scaling and root planing. This method of scaling involves removing the plaque and calculus on the tooth surface, while root planing is the process of smoothing the root surface so that the gum tissue can easily reattach to the tooth. With a new take on the procedure that includes the use of lasers, called laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP), the process can be done with far less swelling, bleeding, and pain than in the past.
By definition, LANAP is a surgical therapy designed for the treatment of periodontitis through regeneration rather than resection. The procedure is done in office using only local anesthetic. A major benefit of the process is that treatment can be done in a shorter amount of time than in the traditional scaling and root planing procedure. What may have taken four or more visits in the past can now often be done in only two.
Rather than cutting the gums to remove the bacteria as in traditional procedures of the past, the LANAP process allows a laser fiber to be inserted between the gum tissue and the tooth. At this point the laser will painlessly remove the toxic elements that cause gum disease. While the feeling of recovery is immediate because of the laser's ability to seal blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerve endings... the tissue will need time to recover, regenerate, and heal.
After completion, there are several “guidelines” that must be followed. Detailed post-op instructions, diet guidelines, and oral hygiene instructions that the patient will receive are important to the success of the procedure. Further periodontal maintenance is imperative, and may be scheduled at that point. Patients are typically monitored at one week, 30 days and then every 3 months for periodontal upkeep.
The procedure is relatively new, so the challenge may be in finding dentists who are willing and able to perform it. If laser gum surgery sounds like something you may be interested in to treat your gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist to find out if that option is available. If your dentist doesn’t currently practice LANAP, there are several other procedures that may suit your needs as well. To read more, download our free eBook "7 Step Checklist to Determine if You Have Gum Disease."
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