How Effective is LANAP Laser Gum Surgery?
For our patients with gum disease, we get a lot of questions about the LANAP technology we use, and how it compares to more traditional treatments.
How effective is it? How does it work? These are good questions, and some of the answers are actually in the name of the procedure, LANAP. It stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, and the “new attachment” is referring to is the way the laser treatment encourages the attachment of healthy gum tissue to bone in your jaw and mouth. That’s really important in the treatment of periodontal, or gum, disease, because the progression of gum disease means parts of your gums become infected, damaging the normal attachments and loosening your teeth. To learn more about gum disease, see our blog on gingivitis and its treatment.
Reversing this problem during periodontal treatment is traditionally done over a long period of time, relying on natural gum healing in many cases. When we use LANAP to assist in gum disease treatment, the laser stimulates healthy gum tissue to create those new attachments and improve the overall healing of your gums at a faster rate. At Monterey Peninsula Dental Group, we’re proud to say we’re LANAP certified, so you can be sure you’re being treated by experienced, qualified dental professionals, using the most current laser technologies available.
LANAP for Gum Surgery
During osseous surgery, the traditional way to treat advanced periodontal disease, the dentist uses scalpels to cut diseased gum tissue away and reach any infected pockets in your bone or gums, then remove them surgically. Afterwards, sutures are used to reshape the gums around the teeth without the pockets. This is usually an effective procedure, but it does have a long recovery time, is much more invasive, and can be expected to result in pain and discomfort during healing.
What LANAP does instead is eliminate diseased gum tissue (distinguishable from the healthy tissue because it’s darker) with a highly specific light frequency. The laser also kills any bacteria present in the mouth, which helps speed healing and encourages new tissue growth in addition. Both the removal of diseased tissues and the restoration of healthy tissue are done with less trauma to the gums and a better path toward healing.
Effectiveness of LANAP
Studies on LANAP procedure show positive results, such as less tooth loss after laser surgery, as compared to traditional surgery. It also has been shown to increase new tissue attachments between gum and bone after treatment, and aid in gum regeneration for periodontal patients.
There’s also good news on the long-term success of LANAP for gum disease. Patients who have LANAP done show less recurrence of their periodontal disease over time compared to patients who are treated with traditional methods like osseous surgery. This is for several reasons; the laser gets rid of bacteria that cause gum disease, and the improved tissue regrowth means that the bone and roots of teeth are better protected from future disease. We also find that LANAP patients have an easier time succeeding with the home dental care regimens they need to follow to prevent future gum disease, because the healing is so much faster and less painful.
Does LANAP Regrow Gum and Bone?
Perhaps, but not exactly — what it does do is create the best conditions possible to speed a patient’s own natural regenerative healing processes, especially in comparison to traditional procedures.
There’s no cutting and sewing to recover from, so the tissues can heal more easily. Then, applying the laser itself helps sterilize the area for better healing, and the light frequency used promotes quick new tissue growth in the gums and bone treated. There’s also clinical evidence for some bone regeneration shown after use of LANAP for gum disease, although complete regeneration is something scientists are still working to understand.
We do offer other dental techniques and procedures to help bone regeneration for patients with severe periodontal disease, such as guided bone regeneration. That treatment option directs healing through the use of soft membranes placed around pockets left after eliminating diseased bone tissue.
Monterey Peninsula Dental Group has been serving patients from all over the Monterey Peninsula since 1972, and has been recognized by our local Chamber of Commerce as a top local dentist. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about LANAP treatment, gum disease, and other dental topics! Just contact us online anytime, or give our office a call during business hours at 831-373-3068.
What is Gingivitis & How is It Treated?
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is when your gums are irritated, red, swollen and often bleed when you brush. This is caused by a lack of oral hygiene which causes plaque build-up. If ignored, the plaque turns to tartar and results in inflammation of the gums.
Plaque forms on your teeth daily from all the foods you consume. To get rid of plaque you will need to brush daily as it reoccurs quickly. If plaque isn’t removed it will turn in to tartar which is difficult to remove without a professional cleaning.
Here are some early stage signs that you may be on the path to gingivitis:
- Bad breath
- Redness of gums/pain to touch
- Bleeding when brushing/Flossing
- Receding gums
Other risk factors are:
- Tobacco smoking
- Drug use
- Poor diet
- Family history
- Hormonal changes
If ignoring all of these signs, gingivitis can lead to more a more serious disease that result in loss of teeth, infection or serious damage to the bone this is called periodontitis. With continued neglect, the gum tissues and bone that forms around your tooth will begin to pull away from your tooth/teeth which allows the bacterial disease to build up faster, contributing to tooth loss. Gum recession occurs gradually and some patients don’t even realize they have it. Some signs will be tooth sensitivity or one day you may notice your teeth are looking longer than normal.
A common way to treat gingivitis is to get regular deep cleanings by your hygienists in order to remove the harmful bacteria. In more extreme cases, a more thorough cleaning called scaling and root planing is required, during which tartar and calculus buildup is removed from below the gum line.
In cases of advanced periodontal disease, many patients need to undergo osseous surgery, a procedure designed to smooth and reshape the bone to remove deep pockets and allow healthy gum tissue to re-attach. Fortunately, Monterey Peninsula Dental Group offers a laser alternative to osseous surgery called LANAP, or the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure. LANAP is less painful and invasive than traditional periodontal surgery and comes with a reduced recovery time. Read more about LANAP here.
Gum Disease has been found to be linked to heart problems, stroke, stomach problems, and diabetes. If you ignore signs of gum disease, the bacteria in plaque that builds between your teeth can eventually enter your blood stream and cause problems in more places than just your smile.
Good news, gingivitis is reversible with regular visits to your dentist and cleanings with your hygienists. With regular brushing and flossing, electric toothbrush use, and even use of an antiseptic mouth wash or toothpaste, you can help prevent gingivitis and keep your clean healthy teeth.
In early stages gingivitis can be reversed in as little as a couple weeks with at home care. Luckily, our office provides comfortable cleanings to rid the bacteria of periodontal disease and also offer laser dentistry for certain stages of gum disease. Don’t wait to address symptoms of gingivitis, book your appointment with Monterey Peninsula Dental Group today!