Laser technology has been in use for a number of years in both dentistry and medicine. New advancements in laser instruments as well as the techniques with which laser therapy is applied have greatly expanded treatment options for our patients. Currently lasers have not replaced traditional means of therapy in periodontics: however, in many cases, it can be used with traditional treatment to provide added benefits. It is important to properly identify situations where laser use is appropriate in achieving the needed therapeutic effect. Our doctors routinely provide our patients with the necessary information to help educate them and to help in determining whether laser treatment is right for them.
Laser Assisted Surgery
Lasers can be used during surgical procedures to manage soft tissues and debride infected areas. When used properly lasers may provide additional benefit to the conventional surgical techniques, resulting in less bleeding, better access, and more rapid healing for the patient.
Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP)
The LANAP is an FDA approved and patented procedure specifically designed to treat periodontal disease. During active periodontal disease gums around teeth are inflamed, swollen, and have separated from the tooth surface. As a result, periodontal pockets form between gums and teeth that harbor bacteria which lead to progressive infection. Using the LANAP the infected gum tissue is removed along with bacteria and tartar deposits below the gums. This allows the gums to reattach to the tooth surface, thus decreasing the periodontal pockets (Figure 6). This type of laser therapy is not indicated for all cases, and our doctors can determine with a thorough periodontal evaluation whether the LANAP is appropriate for a patient.
Figure 6: Sequence of steps in the LANAP treatment. A) Untreated periodontal pocket. B-D) Treament and removal of diseased gum tissue using the laser. E-F) Reattachment of the treated gum tissue to the root surface.
Please visit www.lanap.com for the animated demonstration of the LANAP