Proactive Perio now offers a minimally invasive way to treat gum disease – the LANAP® protocol
Proactive Perio is one of only a few specialists’ periodontal practices in Australia to provide this new gum disease treatment. The practices’ principal dentist, Doctor Chris Barker, has recently completed intensive training in the LANAP protocol, a minimally-invasive laser periodontal treatment.
The LANAP protocol is a laser-based treatment for gum disease. There is no cutting and suturing with the treatment and patients typically report less pain and discomfort during and after the procedure, compared to traditional periodontal surgery. [1, 2]
The LANAP protocol is a patented periodontal treatment, cleared by the FDA in 2004, and more recently it is available in Australia*. The procedure can only be done with the PerioLase® MVP-7; this laser operates at a specific wavelength that attacks the bacteria that contributes to gum disease while leaving healthy tissue intact. Post-surgical recession and tooth sensitivity, which can be significant following traditional gum surgery, are also significantly reduced.
Some of the primary benefits of LANAP laser surgery as compared to traditional cut-and-sew surgery are:
- Faster Healing – LANAP treatment is minimally invasive and allows the body to recover and heal more quickly.
- Less Discomfort – Patients report either no or 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 without injuring healthy tissue.
- Saves Teeth – Patients can keep their natural teeth sometimes even when the teeth 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, hemophilia, or those taking medications such as Plavix or aspirin.
o What to Expect: Your LANAP Surgery
LANAP periodontal surgery is a full-mouth procedure usually completed in two 2-hour visits. We complete one side of the mouth during the first visit and complete the other side on the second visit. Surgeries are usually scheduled within one week of one another. It is common to return to work or other activities quickly.
· What to Expect: The First Few Days
You may experience mild aching, throbbing, and soreness of the treated areas for the first couple days—this can be helped with mild pain medications. The tissue around the teeth may appear discoloured. Your bite may feel slightly different, but the teeth will adapt. You cannot brush or floss for the first 7-10 days after treatment, and you will need to follow a liquid or mushy diet. Smoking decreases results for all gum treatments, including LANAP.
· What to Expect: Follow-up Care
As the gums heal, the teeth will shift, and your bite will need to be adjusted several times over the coming months. Splints may be fabricated to stabilise and immobilise the teeth. It is essential 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 dentist.
· Who is a candidate for LANAP laser surgery?
Patients with moderate-to-severe gum disease can especially benefit from the LANAP protocol. The LANAP protocol is also an excellent treatment option for patients who are fearful of conventional scalpel surgery and patients taking certain medications, such as blood thinners. With the LANAP protocol, patients do not have to stop taking any medications.
· Why is it important to get my gum disease treated?
The health risks of gum disease go far beyond the loss of teeth. There is a connection between gum disease and a few serious medical conditions. People with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease and have nearly twice the risk of having a fatal heart attack. Gum disease has also been linked to other health problems, including respiratory disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, erectile dysfunction, HPV, and pregnancy complications.
· Can the LANAP protocol help my loose dental implants?
Yes! Using the PerioLase MVP-7, we can often similarly save ailing or failing implants using the LAPIP™ protocol. We use the same laser, but different laser settings and light exposure that will help your implant stabilise while destroying periodontal pathogens and endotoxins.
This addition makes it possible for Proactive Perio to offer your patients a convenient, gentle, and effective gum disease treatment option. If you want to learn more about the LANAP protocol or see the machine in action, then contact Dr Chris Barker (Hyperlink email address). We can discuss how we might partner in the treatment of specific patients who could benefit from LANAP for their restorative dental needs.