If you’re one of the 2 out of every 5 adults affected by some form of periodontal disease, you may be looking into solutions on how to treat your gum disease. Your research may lead you into the realization that you may require some form of surgical procedure to save your teeth and gums. Those with dental anxiety may find this information especially nerve-wracking as “surgical” usually means use of a scalpel. But there’s good news! The field of periodontics is ever-advancing and finding new ways to treat gum disease. One method we practice at Periodontal Health Center is LANAP®, or Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure.
But what exactly is this procedure and is it the best choice for you? Let’s dive into the benefits of LANAP and how it compares to other gum treatment techniques.
First of all, what is LANAP?
LANAP is an acronym for “Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure”. Meaning this treatment uses a laser instead of the traditional scalpel to reattach healthy gum tissue to tooth roots. It’s labeled as a non-surgical treatment or minimally invasive because of this. While periodontal patients in the past may have forgone or dreaded gum treatment due to the discomfort flap and osseous surgery (traditional gum surgery) can cause, LANAP offers a gentle, effective alternative to surgical treatment.
LANAP vs. deep cleaning
So how does deep cleaning or scaling and root planing fit into LANAP?
Just like LANAP, a scaling and root planing procedure can be part of your periodontal treatment plan. In fact, a deep cleaning is typically required before you can receive LANAP treatment.
With scaling and root planing, think of it as a regular teeth cleaning but down to the roots of your teeth. One of our board-certified periodontists will remove plaque and tartar from your crown to your root surfaces, effectively removing the periodontal disease-causing bacteria.
While scaling and root planing is a necessary part of every patient’s periodontal treatment plan, LANAP on the other hand is a treatment option that is often reserved for moderate to severe forms of periodontal disease, and those with periodontal pockets. Your periodontist will use a speciality laser to remove infected gum tissue to encourage your gum tissue to regenerate and reattach to your tooth roots.
LANAP and gum recession
As periodontal disease progresses, healthy gum tissue begins to pull away or recede from your tooth roots. With LANAP, your periodontist is able to help stop gum recession by removing infected gum tissue and encouraging regrowth of healthy gum tissue.
LANAP pros and cons
So LANAP sounds like it can help address a lot of the symptoms of more advanced periodontal stages. But what are other positive benefits of this non-surgical treatment? Let’s go over the pros here!
- Less post-op bleeding and discomfort. There’s more “trauma” or “damage” to the gum tissue with traditional cutting as opposed to cutting with a laser which can lead to more swelling and bleeding as your mouth tissue begins to heal, contributing to discomfort and pain after surgery.
- Faster recovery. Because there’s less bleeding and discomfort, LANAP has a quicker recovery period compared to traditional gum surgery. Most patients can return to normal activities within a day or two.
- Increased amounts of healthy gum tissue. One of the greatest benefits to this non-surgical treatment is its ability to target only infected tissue, preserving healthy gum tissue. (Which also reduces the chances of gum recession, a concern with traditional periodontal surgery).
- Less bone loss. LANAP doesn’t just help remove infected gum tissues, it also stimulates the stem cells in your bone and periodontal ligament to regenerate.
If you’re WOWed by the benefits of LANAP, you should also be aware of some of the potential drawbacks. The PHC Team wants you to be informed about the positive and potential negatives to your treatment, so we can make the best decision for your health together! Here’s a few of LANAP’s cons:
- Affordability. LANAP can be more expensive than traditional gum surgery.
- Limited availability. Not all periodontists offer LANAP. In fact, you have to undergo specialty training and become certified at the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry (IALD) to perform this procedure. Our very own Dr. Stilley is proud to be certified in the LANAP protocol!
Still have more questions about LANAP periodontal surgery?
No matter your situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We’re always happy to discuss any of our treatments or technologies with you. Our team is here to support you and your gums!
The first step to getting the proper treatment for your periodontal disease is scheduling an exam with an experienced periodontist! If you’re looking for a top periodontist in Tampa or New Port Richey, we’d love to meet you!