LANAP® Laser Treatment
Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure, or LANAP® laser treatment, is a minimally invasive form of periodontal surgery. Unlike traditional surgery for gum disease, LANAP uses lasers to treat the disease and minimize discomfort in the mouth and does not involve any scalpels or sutures. The procedure may be recommended for anxious dental patients who prefer not to undergo traditional periodontal surgery.
Prior to LANAP laser treatment, radiographs (x-rays) are taken to determine the extent of gum disease and formulate a treatment plan. Local anesthesia is administered at the start of the procedure, and the LANAP laser is placed between the teeth and gums. This type of laser can distinguish healthy tissue from diseased tissue making it possible for harmful bacteria and infected tissue to be thoroughly removed without damaging the healthy tissue. The laser generates heat that creates a seal for the gums, preventing bacteria from re-infecting the treated area and eliminating the need for sutures. LANAP laser treatments typically consist of two two-hour sessions, along with follow-up appointments. Patients usually only need a day to recover from the procedure, and a soft-food diet is recommended after treatment.
Teeth that are properly aligned are designed to fit together in an anatomically correct position. However, most people have tiny interferences in their teeth that prevent the bite from fitting together properly. These interferences can occur as a result of changes in dental work such as fillings or crowns. Occlusal adjustment is a procedure performed to remove the tiny imperfections so that the teeth fit together better and the jaw can close properly.
How is my bite fixed?
Mylar paper is used to detect the imperfections in your bite. Mylar paper is similar to carbon paper. Biting down on a piece of mylar paper transfers color onto the areas where contact occurs. The dentist will then smooth the area where the unwanted contacts have been marked, removing just enough of the enamel to remove the interference.
Oral Hygiene Instruction
Proper oral hygiene is essential for healthy teeth and gums. Studies have shown that people older than 35 actually lose more teeth from gum disease than from cavities. Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a broad term that encompasses several different gum conditions, including gingivitis (inflammation of the gums which is reversible) and periodontitis (inflammation of the gum and deeper tissues causing loss of attachment and bone of the affected tooth/teeth)
Most cases of periodontal disease develop because of bacterial plaque that builds up on the teeth. When plaque hardens, it causes tartar to form, which gradually destroys the tissues and bone that support the teeth.
The risk of developing gum disease can be reduced by practicing effective oral hygiene measures at home which includes carefully brushing the teeth at least twice a day, and flossing them at least once a day. With formal oral hygiene instruction, patients can actually see what measures they need to take to help achieve and maintain good oral health.
Also called flap surgery, osseous surgery is performed on periodontal pockets to help negate the periodontal disease process that has resisted all other attempted treatments and continues to worsen. Osseous surgery creates a clean environment around the tooth, promoting tooth and periodontal health.
During osseous surgery, a periodontist numbs the target area with a local anesthetic. An incision is made in the gum, which is then gently lifted away from the tooth root to fully access the treatment site. The newly exposed tooth root is cleaned of all plaque and tartar build-up. The surfaces of both the tooth and supporting bone, which have deteriorated due to destructive bacteria, are smoothed as well. This smoothing is critical for proper healing. The doctor then will contour the gums to match the new bone and tooth structure and reattach them with with sutures to hold the gums in place while the treated site heals.
After the procedure, your doctor may prescribe medication for discomfort. The stitches securing the gums will need to be removed in approximately 1-2 weeks unless dissolving stitches were used. It is important to schedule and attend follow up appointments as needed until the area is healed and normal oral hygiene measures are resumed. This allows the doctor to check the healing and health of the treated site.
It is important to know that due to the re-shaping of the bone and contouring of the gums, the tooth may appear longer due to the lower gum line. This may also result in increased tooth sensitivity which usually lessens over time.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
Most periodontal treatments focus on treating gum or periodontal disease. Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease caused by a build-up of plaque and bacteria between the teeth and gums and possibly other co-factors
When left untreated, the gums can become swollen and infected and may bleed easily. As gum disease progresses, it becomes increasingly more difficult to treat. Periodontitis can also result in tooth loss.
Scaling and Root Planing– This is a deep-cleaning method that removes plaque/tartar on the tooth below the gum line.
Medication– Antibiotics or antimicrobial medications may be used to fight infection.
Surgery– If other methods of treatment are ineffective, periodontal surgery may be performed to gently lift up the gum tissue so that it can be cleaned underneath. Gum or bone grafts may also be performed to help regenerate any bone or gum tissue that may have been damaged or lost due to periodontitis.
Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure, or LANAP® laser treatment, is a minimally invasive form of periodontal surgery. Unlike traditional surgery for gum disease, LANAP uses lasers to treat the disease and minimize discomfort in the mouth. LANAP laser treatments do not involve any scalpels or sutures. The procedure may be recommended for anxious dental patients who prefer not to undergo traditional periodontal surgery.