The Use of Lasers in Periodontal Treatment

For patients suffering from periodontal disease (gum disease) the benefits of laser-assisted treatment are enormous. In many cases the problem can be managed without traditional surgical procedures, which involve cutting and sutures. The treatment is called LANAP or Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, and was FDA approved about 10 years ago.

What is the procedure?

In the case of gum disease the affected areas are first debrided of tartar (calculus) that is trapped under the gumline by using an ultrasonic instrument. Once all the tissue is clean, a topical anesthetic is applied to numb the site. Then with the use of a low energy laser, diseased tissue is removed and the area is disinfected. The procedure is safe and painless.

The advantages?

The benefits of laser periodontal treatment are numerous. With laser treatment, as opposed to traditional surgery, patients do not need to stop using prescribed blood thinners, cardiac medication or systemic medication. The healing response is much faster, usually weeks ahead of that using traditional surgical techniques. There is little or no post-operative discomfort.

How does the laser work?

Low level laser energy vaporizes diseased tissue and coagulates the treated area. This means that there is no post-operative bleeding and does not require sutures. This is particularly important for medically compromised patients such as prior to cardiac bypass surgery, stent procedures, prosthetic replacement ( ie. hip and knee), chemotherapy and radiation.

Furthermore, the treated tissues remain sterile for several months following the treatment. This is especially important because the healing process is greatly enhanced in the absence of bacteria. In conclusion, because of all the potential benefits to patients, the use of laser protocol has become the treatment of choice in the majority of periodontal disease cases.

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