What is LANAP?
While easily prevented, periodontal disease remains one of the most common oral health conditions among American adults, affecting an estimated 8 in 10 adults. In its most serious form, severe periodontitis is a major culprit behind tooth loss and gum recession. Indirectly, advanced periodontitis has been tied to a number of overall health problems, ranging from heart disease and stroke to high risk pregnancy and premature birth.
When it comes to treating advanced periodontitis, it’s critical that patients receive a comprehensive and effective treatment. At Today’s Family Dental, we’ve invested in LANAP, laser-assisted new attachment procedure. This revolutionary alternative to gum surgery allows patients to regain healthier smiles in a shorter amount of time, all while reducing their risk of reinfection.
The History of Gum Disease Treatment
Traditional treatment for advanced periodontitis typically required a combination therapy of gum surgery, soft tissue grafting, and antibiotics in order to effectively remove bacteria and infected tissue. While effective, this option left a good deal to be desired. In addition to requiring specialist care, this multi-step solution often weakened foundational structures of the smile, leaving large periodontal pockets that were difficult to keep clean and vulnerable to reinfection.
Thanks to innovations in modern dentistry, LANAP was developed to help patients with advanced gum disease regain and maintain healthy smiles.
How Does LANAP Work?
LANAP surgery is a unique departure from traditional surgery in that rather than using traditional scalpels and sutures, this treatment relies on an extremely narrow diode laser to selectively remove bacteria and diseased tissue from within the periodontal pocket. As this compromised tissue is being removed, the laser cauterized the inside of the periodontal pocket. As this laser specifically targets infected tissue rather than all tissue, healthy gums are left alone.
This form of selective treatment offers several important benefits. In addition to clearing out infection, the laser cauterizes the treated area as it goes, sealing out bacteria and stimulating the healing process. As a result, patients less likely to experience reinfection during the healing process and often enjoy a faster recovery than they would with traditional gum surgery.
Another important advantage of LANAP is that the laser also helps stimulate the regeneration of the periodontal ligament, the connective tissue that secures teeth to gums. Often, the periodontal ligaments are heavily damaged or even completely destroyed when patients suffer from advanced periodontitis. This causes teeth to become loose and fall out of the arch. By stimulating ligament regrowth, LANAP helps close periodontal pockets, limiting the risk of recurrent gum disease that often plagues recipients of traditional gum disease treatment.
Why Choose LANAP?
Over the years, studies by leading periodontists have shown that the LANAP protocol is the only gum disease solution that effectively reduces the size of periodontal pockets. The concept that LANAP equals laser assisted regeneration is the only scientifically, research-proven method that leads to gum and bone regeneration. At our Waco dental office, we’ve found that LANAP is one of the most successful options for treating gum disease because it effectively targets inflammation without threatening surrounding healthy tissue or requiring lengthy surgery. Thanks to this innovative surgical alternative, Dr. Williams and Dr. Quigley can help patients improve their overall and oral wellbeing.
Who is a Candidate for LANAP?
Determining whether you’re a candidate for LANAP starts with a consultation visit to our Waco dentists. During this appointment, our team will conduct an in-depth periodontal exam. Because LANAP does not create an incision or require anesthesia, this alternative is much less invasive than traditional gum disease therapy. Patients who would otherwise not be a candidate for surgery are able to treat their condition. Some of the factors we consider during your evaluation include:
- Depth of periodontal pockets
- Stage of periodontal disease
- Condition of gums and bone tissue
- Loose teeth
The Benefits of LANAP
With LANAP, patients enjoy a number of benefits, including:
- Less post-operative pain and sensitivity
- Less bleeding and swelling
- Diminished gum recession
- Minimal post-operative downtime
- Less risk of post-operative infection
- Faster healing and tissue regeneration
To ensure you enjoy the most out of your smile, we recommend patients visit our Waco dentists every three months for maintenance cleanings and to monitor gum health.