LANAP or Laser- Assisted New Attachment is promising sufferers of periodontal disease or periodontitis an effective treatment that can quickly eliminate the offending pathogen and stimulate the regeneration of the gum tissues. But how does LANAP work? Why do periodontists and the dental community consider it a new breakthrough in the treatment of gum disease? We will try to answer these questions later but now, let us look at what gum disease is, what causes it and the treatment options currently available near Allen, Texas.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease encompasses two conditions – gingivitis and periodontitis. In both conditions, your gum line becomes inflamed due to bacterial infection. Most adults in the United States suffer from some form of gum disease. Any given adult will develop the disease at a point in their lives. If you suffer from gum disease, you will start by noticing that you bleed while brushing or flossing. In some cases, you will notice bad breath. There are different forms of gum disease depending on the severity
Forms of Gum Disease
The mildest form of gum disease is gingivitis. It will cause your gums to become red, swollen and bleed easily. This stage of the disease is characterized by little discomfort and may actually pass without you even knowing something is wrong with your gums. If gingivitis is not treated, it will progress to a moderately severe form known as periodontitis.
Periodontitis occurs when the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. The offending bacteria produce toxins that irritate your gums and stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which your body activates, and the bone and soft tissues that support your teeth are broken down and destroyed.
Your gum then separates from the teeth leaving small spaces between the teeth and gum (called pockets) that become infected. With disease progression, the pockets become deeper and the destruction of the gum tissue and bone extends. Although the destruction may be massive, the condition only produces mild symptoms. Eventually, your teeth become very loose and may have to be pulled out.
Without treatment, periodontitis may progress to severe forms including aggressive periodontitis, chronic periodontitis, and necrotic periodontitis. Some of these conditions only come if your periodontitis is associated with certain conditions such as HIV immunosuppression or systemic diseases such as diabetes and malnutrition.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
In order to understand periodontal disease treatment, we need to learn the actual causes of the disease in the first place. The disease is caused by a buildup of plaque containing bacteria on the teeth. Plaque is essentially a sticky substance, which contains different strains of bacteria. Not all bacteria in the plaque are harmful.
A few may produce toxins that trigger inflammatory response leading to the disease. Removing the plaque through regular brushing and flossing can get rid of the bacteria and prevent you from developing gum disease. While the primary cause of periodontal disease is bacteria, there are many predisposing factors. Examples include smoking, hormonal changes, illnesses, family history of periodontitis and certain medications that lessen the flow of saliva given the protective effect of this secretion on teeth and gums.
Periodontal Disease Prevention
Prevention is better than cure. This phrase is extremely relevant when it comes to gum disease. The first and most important preventive measures are proper brushing and flossing. Experts advise that you use an antibacterial toothpaste or mouth rinse that can kill the bacteria and minimize the plaque in your mouth. You need to brush at least twice daily and floss regularly to keep plaque at bay.
Another important intervention is to see your dentist as regularly as possible. During these checkups, the dentist will examine your gums and teeth thoroughly and treat any early symptoms of gum disease before they can spread. If you have never had the disease, you can visit the dentist’s office twice a year. If you suspect you have the disease then you can go for checkups as advised by the dentist near Allen, TX.
Gum Disease Treatment
The only way to get rid of severe and stubborn plaque is to have a professional cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist. In case of severe disease, the dentist will recommend much more advanced periodontal disease treatments. The advanced treatments include scaling and root planing performed to treat the diseased gum pockets and gum infection. The scaling removes the plaque, tartar, and debris above and below your gum line.
For a long time, a huge number of Americans who suffered from advanced periodontitis chose never to go for treatment for the fear of the invasive surgery. This is no longer the case. A better, safer and more advanced periodontal disease treatment is Laser- Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP). There is agreement across the board that LANAP or laser gum surgery is currently one of the best periodontal therapies.
What is LANAP?
LANAP is a surgical therapy developed for the treatment of advanced cases of periodontitis. Unlike the dental surgical procedures you know, LANAP works by stimulating the regeneration (or regrowth) rather than resection. Resection is the surgical removal of all or just part of a tissue, organ or structure. Regeneration, on the other hand, is the process leading to renewal, restoration and regrowth of gum cells, tissues, and bone structures that were destroyed by periodontitis.
Although the procedure may be new to you, it has been around since 1994. Robert H. Gregg II and Delwin McCarthy developed the LANAP protocol after years of research and clinical testing. Today, the procedure is widely accepted as the safest, most effective periodontal therapy. You will find the technology in advanced, state-of-the-art dental hospitals and offices.
How Does LANAP Work?
The procedure uses a special pulsed Nd:YAG laser. The laser consists of neodymium (Nd) atoms that are distributed in yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) crystal hence the designation Nd:YAG. The Nd is exited with a little jolt of electricity causing it to emit a burst of infrared light of 1064 nanometers wavelength (color). A super small fiber optic (about the width of 3 human hairs) delivers the infrared laser light precisely to the affected tissues.
This wavelength of light is transmitted through your normal cell in a manner similar to the way sunlight is transmitted through windowpanes. However, it seeks out the toxin-producing and dark pigmented bacterial known to be the culprits in the causation of periodontitis. In essence, the pulsing laser “vaporizes” the offending bacteria and preserves the normal gum cells.
You might be wondering how simple light can kill bacteria. Well, the mechanism of the laser is rather basic. The laser action involves the transferring of laser light energy into heat energy within the bacteria or the diseased gum cells of the target gum tissues. The pulsing of the laser energy works to minimize any chances of collateral damage resulting from the spread of excessive heat energy. Here are the steps of the LANAP laser periodontal surgery:
Step 1: The LANAP procedure ensures the Nd:YAG laser enters your affected periodontal pockets to get rid of the plaque containing bacteria and the diseased inflammatory tissues.
Step 2: With successful removal of all the diseased inflammatory tissue and bacteria, attention turns to the root surface. This step involves the root surface with hand instruments and ultrasonic scalers.
Step 3: The laser stimulates hemorrhage or bleeding into the freed periodontal pockets. It then accelerates and stabilizes blood clot thereby preventing bacteria from re-entering the pockets.
Step 4: The laser periodontal surgeon then makes a bite adjustment by the use of a dental drill to make minor reshaping of the enamel. This stabilizes your teeth for a perfect bite.
Step 5: The last step involves regeneration. Connective tissue reattachment and bone regeneration occur. The process of full regeneration will take 6 months to 1 year depending on the extent of damage and your health status.
How Long Does LANAP Take?
As you can see, the process is quite simple but it must be performed by a LANAP trained professional. You will not need any initial periodontal therapy started prior to the LANAP protocol. The procedure is completed in two visits although a single visit is often sufficient. Each visit will average about two hours. The laser periodontal surgeon will see you at a postoperative appointment for evaluation and then another to undergo supragingival prophylaxis.
These 2 hour sessions mean you can have the procedure and continue with your daily activities whether work or study. Since the procedure is not invasive, it is associated with little pain or discomfort allowing you to continue with your activities without any interruption.
So, how does LANAP compare with traditional gum treatments?
Laser gum surgery offers many benefits over the traditional gum treatments including the invasive surgical procedures. The procedure is minimally-invasive and therefore pain-free with very little postoperative discomfort. This means you do not need any recovery time. The other benefits you can reap from LANAP compared to other periodontitis treatments include:
• Very little bleeding, if any
• Superfast healing and short recovery time with impressive results
• Less invasive therefore minimal removal of healthy gum tissue
• A safer alternative for patients with health conditions and those on certain medications
• The surgical procedure only takes a short time – 2 hours to be exact
• Associated with literally no side effects or postoperative complications
The Average Cost of LANAP
Many people usually assume that state-of-the-art treatments such as LANAP are costly and therefore beyond their means. When it comes to LANAP, such belief is a serious misconception. The cost of LANAP is comparable to that of traditional periodontal disease treatments. The cost may vary considerably depending on the severity of the disease and the amount of diseased tissue.
For instance, the cost of a single dental implant with an associated bone grafting to replace a lost tooth may actually be costlier than LANAP of the whole mouth. It will cost you an average of $400 to treat one severely affected tooth but you may require to the tune of $4500 or more to treat periodontitis of the whole mouth.
Who Performs LANAP?
The procedure needs a lot of skill and precision. Therefore, periodontists or dentists near Allen, TX looking to perform the procedure must go through thorough LANAP training. The LANAP Training Continuum requires yearlong, comprehensive, live-patient, hands-on training. This intense training is necessary to ensure that the dentist is competent enough to provide safe and effective laser treatment.
The procedure can be performed in a dentist’s office, or any place when dentistry services are provided. All you need to do if you are looking for a place to have the procedure done is consult with your regular dentist or do a little online research.
How Do You Qualify For LANAP?
The most important question is whether you qualify for the procedure. Well, it is your periodontist who can determine for you the best action to take depending on the severity of your gum disease. Generally, dentists will recommend you go for laser gum surgery if you are suffering from advanced periodontitis characterized by receded gums or loose teeth. The LANAP surgeon will evaluate your suitability for the procedure and advise you accordingly.
Leaving periodontal disease untreated can lead to serious problems including the loss of a tooth or teeth and systemic spread of the bacteria leading to other diseases or health problems. If you suspect that you have periodontitis, regardless of its perceived severity, go for a check up and let your periodontist near Allen, TX guide you on the next step to take. LANAP is the best gum disease treatment. Anyone can receive the procedure as long as you qualify for intervention by laser periodontal disease treatment.