Laser Gum Surgery LANAP vs. Traditional Gum Surgery
The benefits and results of Laser Gum Surgery (LANAP) are truly amazing! If you have been told that you have periodontal disease and surgery will be required, you owe it yourself to know the difference between traditional gum surgery, (which utilizes a scalpel and sutures) and Laser Gum Surgery, as well as what to expect after the procedure. Many people aren’t aware of the fact that you can get great results with LANAP.
LANAP is less invasive than traditional surgery
Traditional surgery typically utilizes a scalpel so that the doctor can reflect the gum tissue back for visibility and to clean the area around the tooth and reduce the pocket depth. The pocket depth is reduced by cutting away tissue. In many cases the additional use of bone grafting or membrane materials will be needed in order to achieve reattachment of the gum tissue to the root surface of the tooth. Although in some cases the only way to treat the patient is by traditional surgery, the vast majority of patients we see opt for the less invasive and more comfortable LANAP, or Laser Gum Surgery.
Periodontal treatment without surgery
LANAP does not require the use of a scalpel or sutures. It is minimally invasive surgery that results in very little recession and pain for the patient. The laser operates at a wavelength that can distinguish between diseased tissue and healthy tissue. This means that the laser is extremely safe and selective when being used in surgery. For the first time, we can remove the diseased tissue and bacteria from your gums without harming, cutting, or removing healthy tissue!
Key differences between traditional gum surgery and LANAP
- Pain – Traditional surgery can be fairly painful and require pain medication and downtime for recovery. In fact, patients frequently opt for removal of teeth and dental implants just to avoid the pain involved in gum surgery. LANAP involves much less discomfort. In fact, there is almost never even a need to prescribe pain medication and patients can usually go right back to work the next day and move on with their daily routine. LANAP results in much less pain after surgery, much less swelling and bleeding, and makes for a quick and comfortable return to your normal life style quickly if not immediately!
- Recession – Because traditional surgery requires the use of a blade or scalpel, there is no getting away from the gum line being reduced. The only question is how much recession will there be? Traditional surgery can result in lowering the gum line anywhere from 2 – 4 mm all the way to 10 – 15 mm. LANAP is much less invasive and more selective in the tissue that it cuts. This results in little to no recession of the gum line! This is an extremely important benefit and result of LANAP as recession can lead to a number of aesthetic problems for the patient and can cause teeth to become very sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
- Healing Time – The healing time for LANAP is much shorter because it is much less invasive than traditional gum surgery. The laser will kill the bacteria below the gum line and around your tooth that’s causing the disease. This results in reduced inflammation, healthy gums, healthy teeth and better oral health!
- Long Term Results – Although it is possible to get great results long term with both treatments, LANAP is far more predictable and has better long-term stability. In fact, studies have shown that both bone regeneration and healthy gums reattaching to the tooth occurs predictably, therby reducing the pockets around the tooth. The laser stimulates the bone around the root of the tooth causing it to regenerate, which often saves teeth that would have previously been extracted. Frequently, we can reverse the effects of periodontal disease and the patient will get better and better over time.
As technology evolves and breakthroughs are made in dentistry, we are committed to keeping up and offering the latest and most advanced treatments to our patients in order to provide the highest standard of care available. Utilizing a laser to treat gum disease is something that many patients can take advantage of, and while not every patient is a candidate for laser gum surgery, it’s important to educate and inform yourself of this option. If you would like to learn more about this treatment and to see if you are a candidate, please call to schedule a consultation or click to request an appointment.
- Histologic Evaluation of an ND:YAG Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure in Humans. IJPRD Peer-Reviewed Study R.A. Yukna, R.L Carr, G. Evans
- Human Clinical and Histologic Evaluation of Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure. IJPRD Peer-Reviewed Study Marc L. Nevins, DMD, MMSc, Marcelo Camelo, DDS, Peter Schupbach, PhD, Soo-Woo Kim, DMD, MS, David M. Kim, DDS, DMSc, Myron Nevins, DDS