Dallas Periodontal Care Specialist
Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. It is also the most common infectious disease in the world. The risk of periodontal disease increases with age. Periodontal refers to the gums and bone that supports the teeth; the foundation for the teeth. Periodontal disease then is the breakdown of the gum tissue and bone caused by bacteria. Uncontrolled periodontal disease is one of the ways adults lose their teeth.
Our Approach - Laser Perio Treatment
LANAP® is a minimally invasive alternative to gum surgery. Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) or Laser Perio Treatment is an FDA-approved procedure for treating moderate to severe gum disease. Instead of a scalpel, as in traditional periodontal surgery, it uses a precisely focused laser to remove the diseased gum tissue without affecting the healthy tissue. The laser not only destroys the bad bacteria, it also stimulates the body’s natural regenerative potential, usually eliminating the need for gum grafting around the teeth.
The LANAP Procedure
We will perform a complimentary oral exam to see if you’re a candidate for LANAP. You’ll get an opportunity to discuss concerns, have treatment options explained and get any questions answered. If needed, we will take digital X-rays of your mouth to make a more precise diagnosis and to discover the extent of the gum disease. We will also take the time to explain the procedure thoroughly ahead of time, so there are no surprises on the day of treatment.
LANAP Treatment Day
When you return for your first LANAP Procedure treatment:
1. We provide you with a local anesthetic to eliminate any discomfort. LANAP Procedure is much less traumatic than conventional surgery, but if desired, sedation can be used for a comfortable appointment.
2. We use a soft-tissue laser with a fiber about the thickness of three hairs. This is inserted between your teeth and gums to eliminate bacteria and diseased gum tissue. Healthy gum tissue is not harmed in the process.
3. We use an ultrasonic scaler and special hand instruments to remove tartar from the root surfaces.
4. The laser is used to finish cleaning the gum pocket and to assist in sealing the pocket so that new germs are unable to enter.
5. The gum heals and re-attaches to the clean surface of the tooth root.
The procedure is quick. It takes just two 2-hour sessions, or you have the option to have it all done in one treatment. Most people return to work the next day.
Laser Gum Surgery LANAP vs. Traditional Gum Surgery
The benefits and results of Laser Gum Surgery (LANAP) are truly amazing! If you have been told that you have periodontal disease and surgery will be required, you owe it yourself to know the difference between traditional gum surgery, (which utilizes a scalpel and sutures) and Laser Gum Surgery, as well as what to expect after the procedure. Many people aren’t aware of the fact that you can get great results with LANAP.
LANAP is less invasive than traditional surgery
Traditional surgery typically utilizes a scalpel so that the doctor can reflect the gum tissue back for visibility and to clean the area around the tooth and reduce the pocket depth. The pocket depth is reduced by cutting away tissue. In many cases the additional use of bone grafting or membrane materials will be needed in order to achieve reattachment of the gum tissue to the root surface of the tooth. Although in some cases the only way to treat the patient is by traditional surgery, the vast majority of patients we see opt for the less invasive and more comfortable LANAP or Laser Gum Surgery.
Periodontal treatment without surgery
LANAP does not require the use of a scalpel or sutures. It is minimally invasive surgery that results in very little recession and pain for the patient. The laser operates at a wavelength that can distinguish between diseased tissue and healthy tissue. This means that the laser is extremely safe and selective when being used in surgery. For the first time, we can remove the diseased tissue and bacteria from your gums without harming, cutting, or removing healthy tissue!
What are the Key Differences Between Traditional Gum Surgery & LANAP?
Traditional surgery can be fairly painful and require pain medication and downtime for recovery. In fact, patients frequently opt for removal of teeth and dental implants just to avoid the pain involved in gum surgery. LANAP involves much less discomfort. In fact, there is almost never even a need to prescribe pain medication and patients can usually go right back to work the next day and move on with their daily routine. LANAP results in much less pain after surgery, much less swelling and bleeding, and makes for a quick and comfortable return to your normal life-style quickly if not immediately!
Because traditional surgery requires the use of a blade or scalpel, there is no getting away from the gum line being reduced. The only question is how much recession will there be? Traditional surgery can result in lowering the gum line anywhere from 2-4 mm all the way to 10-15 mm. LANAP is much less invasive and more selective in the tissue that it cuts. This results in little to no recession of the gum line! This is an extremely important benefit and result of LANAP as recession can lead to a number of aesthetic problems for the patient and can cause teeth to become very sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
The healing time for LANAP is much shorter because it is much less invasive than traditional gum surgery. The laser will kill the bacteria below the gum line and around your tooth that’s causing the disease. This results in reduced inflammation, healthy gums, healthy teeth and better oral health!
Although it is possible to get great results long term with both treatments, LANAP is far more predictable and has better long-term stability. In fact, studies have shown that both bone regeneration and healthy gums reattaching to the tooth occurs predictably, thereby reducing the pockets around the tooth. The laser stimulates the bone around the root of the tooth causing it to regenerate, which often saves teeth that would have previously been extracted. Frequently, we can reverse the effects of periodontal disease and the patient will get better and better over time.
As technology evolves and breakthroughs are made in dentistry, we are committed to keeping up and offering the latest and most advanced treatments to our patients in order to provide the highest standard of care available. Utilizing a laser to treat gum disease is something that many patients can take advantage of, and while not every patient is a candidate for laser gum surgery, it’s important to educate and inform yourself of this option. If you would like to learn more about this treatment and to see if you are a candidate, please call us at (972) 661-3666.
Oral Cancer Screenings
We visually screen for signs of oral cancer during each appointment. Oral cancer claims one life every hour on average in the US alone, and according to research conducted by the Oral Cancer Foundation, the best way to reduce this number is to diagnose and treat this disease in earlier stages. This determination is based in part on evidence that indicates more than 50% of patients diagnosed live less than 5 years following their diagnosis. When identified in the early stages, oral cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, so it falls to dentists and physicians to spot this disease in its treatable early stages. Our priority is to ensure all of our patients maintain their optimal oral health, and that includes screening for common diseases such as oral cancer.