Laser treatment for gum disease
Proactive Perio now offers a minimally invasive way to treat gum disease using LANAP®. Dr Christopher Barker is one of only a few periodontists in Australia qualified to provide this revolutionary gum disease treatment.
LANAP® is a laser- based treatment for gum disease. Unlike traditional periodontal surgery, there is no cutting and suturing involved. As a result, patients typically report less pain and discomfort both during and after the procedure. There is also a reduced risk of post-operative sensitivity and gum recession. In many cases, patients can return to work the next day with minimal disruption to their daily routine.
LANAP® is a patented periodontal treatment, approved by the FDA in 2004. Only in recent years has it become available in Australia. The procedure can only be performed with a machine called the PerioLase® MVP-7. This laser operates at a specific wavelength that attacks the bacteria that contribute to gum disease, removing infected tissues while leaving healthy gum tissue intact. LANAP® may also assist in regenerating some of the bone and tissue attachment that has been lost to gum disease, something traditional periodontal surgery is unable to do.
Some of the primary benefits of LANAP laser surgery as compared to traditional periodontal surgery are:
- Faster healing – LANAP treatment is minimally invasive and allows the body to recover and heal more quickly than traditional periodontal surgery.
- Less discomfort – Patients report significantly less discomfort during and after surgery, including less pain, bleeding, sensitivity and swelling.
- No cut, no sew, no fear – the LANAP protocol uses laser light energy rather than traditional methods of cutting and suturing.
- Minimal recovery time – Most patients can immediately return to their daily routine, e.g. driving, working, or other activities.
- Little to no gum recession – Because the procedure doesn’t require cutting the gums, there is less risk of recession.
- Reduction in gum inflammation and bleeding – The PerioLase® MVP-7™ targets inflammatory bacteria and diseased tissue without injuring healthy gum tissue.
- Saves teeth – Patients may be able to keep teeth that have been deemed ‘hopeless’ with traditional treatments.
- Safe for patients with health concerns – LANAP® protocol is safe for patients with health concerns such as diabetes, HIV, haemophilia, or patients taking blood thinners.
o What to Expect: Your LANAP® Treatment
LANAP® is a full-mouth procedure usually completed in one visit of 4 – 5 hours. Your periodontist will treat one side of the mouth at a time, using local anaesthetic to prevent you from feeling any pain. This might seem like a long appointment; however, we schedule enough time for a thirty-minute snack break halfway through, and you can take as many small rests as you require throughout the procedure. Most patients find this is preferable to multiple visits. However, the approach we take is always up to you. If you would like to split your treatment into two visits, we usually need to schedule both appointments within a week of each other. You are also encouraged to bring a device with headphones so that you can listen to music or podcasts during your procedure.
· What to Expect: The First Few Days
A minority of patients report mild aching, throbbing, and soreness of the treated areas for the first couple of days — this can be helped with pain medications. The tissues around the teeth may appear slightly discoloured. However, this is temporary and typically lasts a maximum of 10 – 14 days. You cannot brush, floss, or use interdental brushes for the first 7-10 days after treatment, and will instead use a mouth wash provided by us. This mouth wash may cause yellow or brown staining of the teeth, which will be cleaned off by your periodontist at your review appointment after two weeks. Additionally, you will need to follow a liquid diet for the first three days, slowly adding in mushy and soft foods until you can return to your normal diet after approximately two weeks. Smoking will compromise the results of all gum disease treatments, including LANAP®.
· What to Expect: Follow-up Care
As the gums heal, your teeth may shift slightly, and small adjustments to your bite might need to be made over the coming months. Splints may be fabricated to prevent you from grinding your teeth at night, which can disrupt the healing process. It is important that you wear these splints as instructed to promote healing. Expect to have your teeth professionally cleaned every three months for at least the first year, and then as recommended by your periodontist. Normally we will recommend a “shared-care” approach between your periodontist and dentist at this time.
· Who is a candidate for LANAP®?
Patients with moderate-to-severe gum disease can especially benefit from LANAP®. It is also an excellent treatment option for patients who are fearful of conventional surgery and patients taking certain medications, such as blood thinners.
· Can LANAP® help save my infected dental implants?
Yes! Using the LAPIP® Protocol, we can often save ailing or failing implants. The same machine is used, but with different laser settings and light exposure. The laser will help your implant to stabilise while destroying infected tissue and the bacteria that cause infection around your implant.
This addition makes it possible for Proactive Perio to offer a convenient, gentle, and effective gum disease treatment option for both periodontitis (gum disease) and peri-implantitis (implant infection).
For more information about LANAP Protocol, visit www.LANAP.com