Over 50% of American adults have gum disease – an infection below the gum line. Gum disease is linked to several health problems – from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pre-term babies – but only a small percentage of these adults get the treatment they need. Traditional gum disease treatment options involve cutting the gum tissue or extracting the teeth.
The LANAP® protocol uses the specific wavelength PerioLase® MVP-7™ dental laser to vaporize bacteria deep within the pockets of the gums while leaving healthy tissue intact. Patients undergoing this type of treatment enjoy fast healing times and more predictable results. Take care of your oral and total health today.
As mentioned above, for a practice to be able to perform the LANAP protocol for gum disease the dentists must be LANAP-trained. This is completely specific training that is above and beyond all training required to achieve a DMD or a DDS degree. The LANAP training directly addresses the ins and outs of using the PerioLase MVP-7 dental laser to vaporize bacteria deep within the pockets of the gums while leaving as much healthy gum tissue intact as possible.
The LANAP procedure is very effective, involves far less discomfort and recovery time, and is cleared by the FDA. But for a practice like the Dental Studio of Pasadena to perform it, the dentists need to be LANAP certified. We are.
Gum disease affects over 80 percent of American adults, but many patients are hesitant to undergo necessary gum treatments for fear of pain. Left untreated, gum disease causes receding gums and bone deterioration that could ultimately lead to tooth loss. Treatment is crucial for ongoing oral health, general health, and, of course, for an attractive smile. The LANAP protocol is designed to meet patients’ needs for improved oral health without invasive gum surgery.
LANAP is a minimally invasive laser treatment that has been clinically and scientifically proven to regenerate both bone and soft tissue. The FDA-cleared procedure uses a special dental laser that removes infected tissue, destroys bacteria, and stimulates the growth of new periodontal ligament, cementum, and alveolar bone.
Increased post-operative comfort compared to traditional gum surgery. The LANAP protocol does not involve cutting and stitching of gum tissue. As a result, patients are far more comfortable after treatment.
Faster recovery. The recovery period for LANAP patients is less than 24 hours. Many patients can resume normal daily activities immediately with minimal discomfort. This is much faster than traditional gum surgery, which can take up to 4 weeks to fully recover from.
Gum health. Because LANAP does not cut the gums, the recession is kept to a minimum.
Natural tissue regeneration. The PerioLase laser causes a natural healing response in which natural growth factors regenerate new tissue. This eliminates the need to add foreign regenerative substances.
The LANAP procedure is appealing to patients who are hesitant to undergo traditional scalpel gum surgery. The laser protocol is minimally invasive and capable of treating moderate to severe gum disease.
To begin the LANAP protocol procedure, the dentist administers local anesthesia to the gums. X-rays and periodontal charting are also done. This confirms the periodontitis diagnosis and also determines the extent of disease that has developed. Then, a tiny laser fiber (about as thick as three strands of hair) is inserted between the numbed gum tissue and the tooth. The laser fiber clears away infection and bacteria without making any cuts. Deep cleaning of the roots is conducted to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. The laser is then used at a different setting to create a firm, stable fibrin blood clot that seals the periodontal pocket around the tooth. Sealing supports prompt, optimal healing. Only one side of the mouth is treated in a single session. Patients can comfortably drive themselves home following their procedure.
The LANAP procedure may cause mild tenderness, swelling, bleeding, and tooth sensitivity. An ice pack may be placed against the outside of the cheek for twenty-minute periods to reduce swelling and soreness or tenderness. This can be done a few times a day of treatment but not continuously. If bleeding occurs, this can be minimized by placing light pressure on the outside of the cheek. Excessive pressure must be avoided.
After LANAP, a liquid diet needs to be followed for about 3 days. Broths and fruit and vegetable juices provide a substance that can decrease physical fatigue. Liquids must be consumed from a bowl or glass, not through a straw. Drinking through a straw creates a vacuum effect that could affect healing tissue. After three days, patients may begin to consume soft foods such as soups, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and steamed vegetables. After one week, most foods can be eaten safely. Gum and hard and crunchy foods need to be avoided for another week or so.
LANAP therapy is a surgical procedure, although it is far different from the former method of treating this degree of gum disease with a scalpel and sutures. The first few days following your LANAP procedure you will likely have some mild soreness of the treated areas, but this doesn’t require prescription pain medication; ibuprofen can handle the discomfort.
Compared to traditional cut-and-sew surgery for gum disease, these are the differences when we use LANAP laser surgery at the Dental Studio of Pasadena:
Patients don’t brush their teeth normally for 7-10 days after their LANAP treatments. You can brush only the chewing surfaces, being careful to avoid sticking the bristles into the gums. After about 10-14 days you can begin normal brushing as your gums should be adequately healed. You cannot floss for three weeks.
Periodontal disease is the most serious dental health problem, and treatment is covered by most insurance companies. That includes the LANAP treatment method. Of course, every carrier is different, so it’s a good idea to check with your provider about coverage. At Dental Studio of Pasadena, we work with your insurance company to gain the most coverage possible.
There is a far lower risk of infection when using the PerioLase laser, as the laser energy instantly disinfects the areas it is used. Infection following traditional scalpel-and-suture methods is a real risk.
Generally, the only risks or side effects with LANAP treatment for gum disease involves the practitioner not understanding the ins and outs of the PerioLase equipment and causing burns on the gum tissue.
That’s not an issue at Dental Studio of Pasadena, as Dr. Meserkhani and our other dentists/prosthodontists who treat patients with the LANAP protocol have received comprehensive, clinical, hands-on, dentist-to-dentist training over the course of a year at the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry. This training must be completed before a dentist can be certified to perform the LANAP protocol.
The LAPIP protocol is similar to LANAP treatment but is intended to target infected tissue around dental implants. Infection is referred to as peri-implantitis. It is caused by the same types of bacteria that are found in periodontitis.
LAPIP offers significant benefits. The procedure is minimally invasive compared to traditional gum surgery and leaves gum tissue intact. The laser used during treatment is designed to target infected tissue only. The procedure is fast and efficient, leading to good results. In addition to destroying infection around dental implants, LAPIP also stimulates new bone and tissue growth that protect the stability of the implant for years.
LAPIP is a minimally invasive procedure that can be appropriate for most patients with signs of peri-implantitis. Signs of infection around dental implants include:
LAPIP treatment begins with local anesthesia to numb the gums around the infected area. The small laser fiber is then inserted between the gums and the tooth. The laser is progressed to the base of the implant, where it destroys infection and bacteria. Bacteria are also targeted a second time by ultrasonic tools to ensure no dangerous debris remains around the implant. The laser is then used once more to eliminate any lingering bacteria and to create a blood clot to seal the periodontal pocket.
Patients typically resume normal activities right away after LAPIP treatment. During the first few days, mild soreness may be felt. This can usually be alleviated with over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen. Gum tissue may appear slightly discolored. Expect the dentist to provide specific post-treatment instructions for eating and oral care to follow while the gums and implant heal.
Gum disease is a progression. It starts with plaque buildup. That buildup of bacteria and the acids they produce begins to irritate the gums — gingivitis. As plaque builds, it begins to calcify and turn into tartar. Without professional cleaning, tartar continues to build, and it begins to move under the gumline. Now you’re moving into full gum disease. Tartar will make the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets. These pockets are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Now the bacteria begin to attack your gums, the tissues connecting your teeth to your jawbone, and the tooth roots. You can see where this is headed. Your teeth begin to loosen and become decayed. They will begin to fall out or need extraction.
What’s the bottom line of leaving gum disease to its own devices? Dentures. Jawbone deterioration. Possible further health complications such as heart disease. You don’t want any of that.
If you’re interested in learning more about the LANAP & LAPIP protocol please contact us for a consultation at (626) 431 2930 or fill out our contact us form here. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.