Gum disease, or periodontal disease is an infection that attacks just below the gum line and causes the supporting tissues to break down. There are two major stages – gingivitis, the milder, reversible form, and periodontitis, a more serious and destructive form. While there are many warning signs, it is possible to display no symptoms and still have periodontal disease.
Treatment depends on severity, but the latest advancements in laser technology allow for precise bacterial reduction and sterilization with minimal chance of infection or bleeding. However, with good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups you can avoid periodontal disease entirely.
Laser-assisted new attachment procedure (the LANAP® protocol) is a laser therapy designed for the treatment of periodontitis through regeneration rather than cutting of the gums. This therapy and the laser used to perform it have been in use for more than a decade. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the LANAP® protocol for the treatment of periodontitis, or gum disease, in 2004.
LANAP® treatment is an alternative to traditional gum surgery and is similar to that of lasers for LASIK® treatment for the eyes. What is immediately apparent with the LANAP® procedure is minimal discomfort, shrinkage of swollen, puffy gums, and reduction of bleeding.
This wavelength of laser light targets diseased or infected pocket tissue away from the underlying connective tissue. Since the laser energy is quite selective for diseased tissue, the underlying connective tissue is spared, thereby permitting healing and regeneration. LANAP® is the only FDA cleared protocol approved for true regeneration of healthy gum tissue.
The LANAP® procedure is a yearlong protocol that must be strictly adhered to for success. The major portion of the LANAP® procedure is generally completed in two visits. On average, each of the two visits is approximately two-three hours long. Patients are seen the day after treatment to check healing and answer any questions. We then see patient’s approximately every three months to continue monitoring healing and review home care instructions.
If you have been told you have periodontal disease, you owe it to yourself to ask our staff about LANAP®. You and your Salt Lake City dentist will be glad you did!