Periodontal SpecialistsGum disease is one of the most prevalent medical issues in the U.S. Yet most people with this condition don’t know they have it. And among those who realize there’s a problem, it’s estimated that only a tiny fraction has been prepared to undergo therapy. Then along came the benefits of LANAP treatment.

People avoid gum disease treatment mainly through fear of surgery, and they run the risk of destruction of gum and bone tissue and teeth. LANAP is a game-changer in dentistry that eliminates the need for conventional gum surgery.

LANAP stands for Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure. It’s a minimally invasive laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) treatment that can reverse gum disease and is the only procedure clinically and scientifically proven to regenerate soft tissue and bone alike.

Besides tissue regrowth, LANAP offers a multitude of other advantages compared with traditional gum surgery, including minimum discomfort and a fast recovery time.

Other benefits of LANAP treatment include:

  • Less sensitivity.
  • Less bleeding.
  • Less gum loss.
  • Less risk of post-operative infection.
  • Long-lasting results.

No Pain, Faster Recovery and Natural Healing

Compared with conventional gum surgery, LANAP results in less discomfort – or even no pain at all – after treatment. The system uses a special dental laser – the PerioLase MVP-7 – which avoids cutting and stitching the gums.

Recovery after LANAP treatment is generally less than 24 hours. Recovery following scalpel surgery can take two weeks to a month, with pain and swelling.

When an incision is made in your gums, the tissue shrinks and may show more of a tooth root. With no cutting, LANAP treatment means your gum tissue remains intact.

The LANAP laser also stimulates the body’s healing response, avoiding the use of foreign materials to promote regeneration.

How LANAP Treatment Works

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. The U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that 80 percent of adults have some form of gum disease. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 50 percent of adults in the U.S. aged 30 or over suffer from mild, moderate or severe gum disease.

LANAP is a powerful gum disease treatment that kills bacteria and quickly restores gum tissue while avoiding gum recession and tooth sensitivity.

The company behind LANAP – California-based Millennium Dental Technologies (MDT) – says only 60 percent of people with gum disease know they have the condition, and just three percent of adults with moderate or severe gum disease will accept treatment.

For patients fearful of scalpel surgery, LANAP can regrow the three elements required for optimum oral function:

  • New cementum.
  • New periodontal ligament.
  • New alveolar bone.

Cementum is the calcified layer of tissue that covers tooth roots. The periodontal ligament and alveolar bone (jaw bone) hold teeth in place.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a serious problem that can cause significant health issues if left untreated. It stems from a build-up of plaque – a sticky film that’s home to millions of bacteria – on the teeth around the gum line.

If plaque is not removed, it can calcify into tartar (calculus), which latches onto tooth enamel and encroaches beneath the gum line. As the bacteria in plaque and tartar grow and move around, they aggravate your gums, causing infection.

Symptoms of early stages of gum disease can be painless and barely noticeable, but watch out for:

  • Bleeding gums.
  • Swollen gums.
  • Purple or red gums.
  • Bad breath.
  • Receding gums.

Advantages of Avoiding Gum Surgery

Besides providing a treatment option for patients unwilling to undergo regular surgery, LANAP is particularly beneficial in cases of moderate to severe gum disease (periodontitis).

A further benefit of LANAP treatment is provided by the unique properties of the laser wavelength, which means patients on blood thinners can continue taking their medication. Since the LANAP procedure is minimally invasive, patients with other medical conditions – including diabetes – may also be good candidates for LANAP treatment.

As well as restoring your oral health, LANAP treatment can also enhance your overall well being. Links have been established between gum disease and conditions such as heart disease, respiratory infection, diabetes and stroke.

LANAP treatment can avoid gum surgery procedures such as:

  • Pocket depth reduction.
  • Guided tissue regeneration.
  • Bone and soft tissue grafts.

The LANAP Procedure

The LANAP Protocol became a world first in 2016, getting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Clearance for True Regeneration, recognizing the system’s effectiveness in re-growing bone and other tissue destroyed by gum disease.

LANAP treatment is usually done with local anesthesia in a dental office and enables your dentist to precisely target the diseased areas.

Before the procedure, your dentist will carry out an evaluation to determine the extent of your gum disease.

During the procedure, a tiny laser fiber is inserted between the gums and teeth, and the infection and diseased tissue are removed without cutting the gums. The tooth roots are then thoroughly cleaned to ensure elimination of plaque and tartar. The laser is then used again with a different setting to produce a stable blood clot to seal the area.

One half of the mouth is treated in a single session, and most patients can drive back to work or home after treatment.

After LANAP treatment, the patient is closely monitored through regular appointments. After 12 months, a further post-operative assessment is performed, including full-mouth X-rays and a thorough periodontal examination.

Finding a LANAP Dentist

Conventional gum surgery is effective in many cases but can result in tooth sensitivity and even cavities. LANAP treatment, on the other hand, entails no loss of tissue volume, and because there’s no cutting or stitching, patients can usually resume normal activities immediately.

Thanks to state-of-the-art precision laser technology, an experienced LANAP dentist can remove diseased gum tissue without damaging the surrounding healthy material.

If you think LANAP treatment may be the right option for you, bear in mind that only LANAP-trained dentists can perform this procedure. LANAP dentists undergo comprehensive clinical training at the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry (IALD).