What is Laser Periodontal Therapy?
Laser Periodontal Therapy (also known as LPT) is a FDA-approved non-surgical approach to treating gum disease. Laser Periodontal Therapy is an effective, less invasive alternative to gum surgery. Laser Periodontal Therapy is also used in bone regeneration treatments.
How does Laser Periodontal Therapy work?
Concentrated energy is emitted by a powerful laser in the form of a light beam, which the dentist uses to trim infected gum tissue, remove the hardened plaque build-up, and re-contour the damaged bone. LPT can also help eliminate infection and heal diseased gum tissue. The laser delivers a narrow beam which focuses on only a specific number of cell layers, providing precise control over the treatment area. The laser's power is controlled with a foot pedal. The dentist treats the affected area using a slow sweeping motion, killing the bacteria and selectively removing the diseased tissue. For trimming soft tissue, the dentist will place the laser optical fiber carrying the beam directly on the gum tissue and move it along the incision line to create a cutting effect. To clear away infection, the laser optical fiber is inserted between the tooth and the gum, and the infection is vaporized. Then an ultrasonic cleaning instrument is used to remove the tartar from the root and tooth surfaces, washing away the debris. Finally, the laser is again passed around the gum tissue to form a natural bandage around the necks of the teeth to seal them against re-infection. Laser Periodontal Therapy is effective in maximizing the preservation of as much of the healthy gum tissue as possible, maintaining the height of the gums around the teeth, and minimizing bleeding and discomfort during and after the procedure.
What are the Advantages of Laser Periodontal Therapy over gum surgery?
- Laser Periodontal Therapy takes less time and requires fewer follow up visits than traditional surgery since there are no sutures to remove.
- Laser Periodontal Therapy results in faster recovery time.
- Laser Periodontal Therapy is more precise, which maximizes the conservation of healthy gum tissue and bone.
- Laser Periodontal Therapy is less invasive, resulting in less bleeding.
- Post treatment discomfort is minimal and can usually be managed with over the counter pain medication.
- Laser Periodontal Therapy is more sterile and reduces the risk of infection.
- Laser Periodontal Therapy provides better, longer-lasting results. Studies have shown that 98% of laser-treated patients do not have further disease progression after five years, compared to only 5% of traditional gum surgery patients.
- With Laser Periodontal Therapy, there is less risk of gum and teeth sensitivity.
Is Laser Periodontal Therapy painful?
With Laser Periodontal Therapy, there is minimal discomfort. The laser actually has pain relieving qualities when treating soft tissue defects (deep gum pockets). Lasers deliver energy faster than it takes to trigger a neural response - so the laser light beam ends before the patient can even feel it.
What should I expect during Laser Periodontal Therapy?
The procedure generally takes two visits, each lasting one to two hours. The procedure generally take two visits, each lasting one to two hours. The dentist will treat one side of the mouth at each visit. The visits are scheduled within two to three weeks of each other so that the bacteria on the untreated side will not have a chance to infect the tissue and bone already treated.
The dentist will use the laser to clean off any tartar and infected tissue in the area around your teeth. Once the treatment is completed, the dentist will then use the laser to sterilize the tissue, promote bone regeneration and initiate healing process.
The recovery time is generally less than 24 hours, so most patients can return to work the next day. Many patients report only minor, if any, post-surgery discomfort.
What is LANAP?
LANAP stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure. It is an FDA approved and patented laser procedure for use in Laser Periodontal Therapy for treating gum disease. LANAP was developed and perfected in Cerritos, California by Dr. Robert H. Gregg II, and Dr. Delwin McCarthy. LANAP uses the world's first digital dental laser--the PerioLase laser. LANAP eliminates infected gum tissue and bacteria from the gums in a unique way. The laser only targets infected tissue, which is darker in color than healthy tissue, and leaves healthy tissue in place. Once all of the infection is removed, the laser is passed around the area a second time to heat the area until a clot is formed. This clot protects the exposed tissue by sealing it and allows the body to heal naturally so that the gum pockets improve and the teeth become more stable.
What is the PerioLase Laser?
The PerioLase laser, designed by Millennium Dental Technologies, was developed for use in Laser Periodontal Therapy (LPT). The PerioLase is a digital hand wand laser that contains a powerful 6 watt Free RunningNd:YAG laser. This laser is used to perform a wide range of soft and hard tissue laser procedures. When used during periodontal therapy, it results in less bleeding, swelling and discomfort to the patient. The PerioLase hand wand laser is directed into the root pocket to kill bacteria and clean out the tartar. It also aids in coagulation, and encouraging healthy bone regeneration and reattachment.