Laser Dentistry vs Traditional Gum Surgery

Laser dentistry has changed the way people are treated for oral care. It has been used to treat various dental problems since 1994. Laser dentistry has also been approved for dental treatment by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Gum Disease

This is an infection of the bone and supporting tissue designed to hold a person’s teeth in place. Gum disease is common among adults between 30 and 40 years of age. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NICDR), there are a number of common causes for this condition. It includes genetic susceptibility, poor oral hygiene, using certain types of medications as well as smoking and having a chronic illness such as being a diabetic.

Traditional Treatments

A dentist may treat a person with gum disease using the traditional method of scaling and root planing (SRP). During this procedure, the surface of a person’s teeth and gums are cleaned using non-surgical methods. It will eliminate tartar as well as bacteria and plaque from a person’s gums as well as their tooth’s root. Doing this usually results in a person’s gums regenerating new gum tissue. It may also be treated with gum flap surgery. This is when a person’s gum tissue is cut and moved back. This permits a dentist to perform deep cleaning around the root of a person’s tooth. When the cleaning is completed, gum tissue is put back in place and sutured.

Laser Therapy For Gum Disease

Laser treatment can easily gain access to a person’s inflamed gum and remove any gum tissue from around the root of a tooth. During the procedure, plaque and calculus that have accumulated around the gumline and root will be scraped off. The root is then smoothed using specific instruments designed to eliminate rough spots that could be vulnerable to bacteria and result in future bacterial infections. During the healing process from laser therapy, the root will regenerate.

Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP)

This is a procedure that has been approved by the FDA and enables a patient to experience less pain. LNAP also provides those who have it with a higher success rate when compared to traditional methods including conventional dental surgery. Research has shown this procedure provides true periodontal regeneration. It also is successful with gum tissue reattachment as well as enhancing bone growth. Individuals with gum disease that is moderate-to-severe can experience significant benefit from LANAP treatment. It is also preferred by individuals who are not comfortable with surgery involving a scalpel.

Main Types Of Gum Disease

The two main types of gum diseases treated using LANAP are periodontitis and gingivitis. Many dental professionals consider gingivitis to be the non-destructive periodontal disease. Individuals with gingivitis experience inflammation and bleeding of their gums. This is caused by a buildup of plaque. Gingivitis can grow due to a bacterial infection and turn into periodontitis. This is when a person’s gums, as well as the bone structure in their mouth, start to deteriorate. It is common for teeth to move away from the gums and bone structure in the mouth. This happens because there are infected pockets in their gums with tartar in them.

LANAP Benefits

Patients who have LANAP treatment for their gum disease can avoid their gums being cut and stitched. This results in a minimal amount of discomfort after the procedure. This process will stimulate a person’s healing response. After an LANAP procedure, most individuals can go back to their normal daily activities immediately. The recovery period is often less than 24 hours. Traditional methods of cutting the gum will cause a person’s gum tissue to shrink. The LANAP procedure does not cut a person’s gums. This means their gum tissue will remain intact.

LANAP Procedure

When this is done, it will occur in a dentist’s office. Before the procedure, the dentist will do some periodontal charting, X-rays will be taken to identify the extent of the gum disease and to make certain the diagnosis is correct. A small laser fiber will be placed between the tooth and gum. The laser fiber will have the thickness of three human hairs. It will make it possible to clear the gum disease and infection without a person’s gums being cut. During the procedure, the tooth root is cleaned as plaque and tartar are carefully removed. The laser is placed on a different setting. It will then be used to create a firm and stable blood clot so the pocket can be sealed. During each session, half of a person’s mouth is treated. The LANAP treatment involves no anesthetic and individuals can drive themselves to work or home after the procedure.

Laser Treatment Insurance Coverage And Cost

The price of LANAP treatment is determined on the amount of work a patient needs to be done. An experienced dentist will not assign a price for treatment until they have been able to carefully examine the patient. In some cases, LANAP treatment is often more cost-effective than traditional surgery. This is because it needs fewer visits to a dentist and less medication. Most healthcare policies will cover LANAP treatment. It is recommended individuals considering LANAP treatment first discuss it with their insurance provider. It’s important to know how their policy will cover the procedure.

After Laser Treatment

When an individual has had LANAP treatment, it is essential they maintain good oral hygiene. This is a proven way for a person to avoid experiencing inflammation again. Daily brushing of teeth combined with an antimicrobial product that provides strong healing for irritated gums should be regularly used. A person should avoid smoking or stop as this will decrease the chance of experiencing future infections. Depending on a person’s individual situation, they may be given specific instructions from their dentist that need to be carefully followed.

The use of lasers to treat gum disease is considered leading edge dental treatment. It has proven to be an option that involves much less pain and is an excellent way to destroy harmful bacteria in a person’s mouth. Lasers have made it possible for people to keep their teeth when standard treatment for gum disease could have caused them to be lost.

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