Lasers have revolutionized multiple industries, including the oral care industry. Have you been diagnosed with periodontal disease. Let me introduce you to the non-surgical approach to treating gum disease: Laser Periodontal Therapy (LPT). Much like LASIK is for ophthalmology, LPT is an amazing breakthrough in the treatment of periodontal disease.
What is Laser Periodontal Therapy?
Laser Periodontal Treatment (LPT) treats periodontal gum disease without traditional surgery and stitches. Lasers are used to cut away diseased gum tissue. This is a very effective treatment and far less invasive which makes it much more comfortable than traditional periodontal surgery.
LPT is also used in the treatment of bone regeneration. And it is used to take the pain out of painful aphthous ulcers and perform frenectomy and gingivectomy procedures.
How Does LPT Work?
The dental laser generates a tiny beam of concentrated light energy which sterilizes the infected area. It removes only the diseased tissue and makes the scaling and root planing procedure much easier, too. (Scaling and root planing is a traditional non-surgical therapy used to treat periodontal disease).
In periodontal laser therapy, the periodontist uses a dental laser to access and remove inflamed gum tissue from around the root of the tooth. Once the infected tissue is removed and the root is exposed, root scaling and planing begins. This involves scraping off calculus and plaque built up below the gum line and around the root of a tooth. The dentist then smooths the root with instruments to remove rough spots that could attract bacteria and cause future infections. Now that the area between the gum and the root is clean, healing and regeneration begin.
What is the Treatment Procedure for LPT?
Think of the LPT procedure as lifting ink from a paper.
- Local anesthetic is given.
- A perio probe is used to measure the pocket depth in the gums surrounding the tooth.
- The laser uses heat to remove bacteria and excise only diseased tissue.
- Root surface tartar is removed using an ultrasonic scaler and special hand instruments.
- The laser is used a second time until a clot is formed. This protects the newly lasered tissue and seals it to prevent new germs from entering the pocket.
- Because the root surface is free of diseased tissue and the area is clean, the gums can heal naturally.
- The periodontist adjusts the bite trauma on the affected tooth, and healing begins!
Are There Risks Involved with Laser Periodontal Therapy?
Laser Periodontal Therapy is still considered to be new. So the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) doesn’t yet consider it as a proven method of treatment. But it shows promising results.
However, because we are human, there is the risk of human error. If an inappropriate laser wavelength or level of power is used, further damage to the periodontal tissue could happen.
Also, providers are concerned that advertisement of this relatively new procedure drums up more hype around this therapy than it should. It’s always best to gather as many facts as possible in order to make an educated decision.
What are the Benefits of LPT?
According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), there are plenty of benefits to using lasers for the treatment of periodontal disease:
- General anesthetic is not needed
- Is virtually painless
- Does not require stitches
- Recovery time and healing is faster and easier
- Bleeding, pain and swelling is minimal
- Discomfort is minimized
- Because a laser is used instead of a scalpel, more of the healthy gum tissue is preserved
- Gum height around the tooth is maintained
- Root exposure and tooth sensitivity are reduced
- Less time is spent in the dental chair for the procedure
- Risk of infection is reduced because the laser sterilizes the periodontal pocket
- Safe for patients with diabetes, hemophilia, HIV, and those who take Coumadin or Cyclosporin
- LPT is reasonably priced
In Conclusion …
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 60% of the adult population in the U.S. has periodontal disease. Symptoms of periodontal disease are bleeding gums, tooth movement, loose teeth, bad breath, or pain while brushing. And scientific evidence shows a direct link between gum disease and major health issues. These major health issues include heart attacks, strokes, miscarriages, diabetes, hardening of the arteries, and premature births. Yet only three percent or less seek treatment.
At Davis Dental we encourage all our patients to prevent the development of periodontal disease before it happens, of course. And with proper oral care and regular dental checkups, gum disease and other major health issues can be avoided.
Do you have symptoms of periodontal disease? Laser Periodontal Therapy can help. Let us help you separate fact from hype. Call Davis Dental at (307) 634-3488 to schedule a routine cleaning and checkup. Ask us about Laser Periodontal Therapy today.
Quality Dental Care for Your Whole Family
3249 Sparks Road
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm