LANAP vs Traditional Gum Surgery
December 12, 2018
Periodontal surgery is a fairly common thing in modern dentistry. Gum disease is a significant problem for many people and occurs when plaque that forms on our teeth manages to spread onto and under the gums where it irritates the soft tissue and makes it sore. Eventually, the bacteria cause infection and this can lead to the soft tissue becoming diseased. Other effects include gum recession, abscesses, bone deterioration and tooth loss. The infection can even penetrate the bloodstream and travel around the body to major organs where further health problems may be triggered.
Periodontal or gum surgery as it is better known, is a successful type of treatment that is performed to remove all areas of diseased tissue so that the condition doesn’t become even more severe and put the health of your teeth at risk. In the past, traditional gum surgery was the only choice for patients who needed this type of surgery, but today patients have another option – LANAP gum surgery. Here is what you need to know about both.
What is LANAP gum surgery?
LANAP is an FDA-approved type of laser treatment that is an alternative to conventional gum surgery. It stands for laser-assisted new attachment procedure and involves targeted removal of the diseased gum tissue, while also prompting the natural regeneration of new, healthy soft tissue in its place. LANAP gum surgery can usually be completed in either one or two sessions, each lasting up to two hours.
The laser itself is around the thickness of three human hairs and this is focused on the area between the gum and tooth where it is worked to eradicate the infection and loosen tartar from tooth root surfaces. The laser beam targets the bacteria while leaving all healthy tissue intact. Next, ultra-sonic instruments are used to remove the tartar and prepare the tooth root so that the gums can be successfully reattached. The settings of the laser are then changed so that it can be used to close the surgical area so that healing can begin.
Benefits of LANAP gum surgery
Lasers offer patients a variety of benefits in dentistry, and in particular, the LANAP technique gives our patients the opportunity to take advantage of:
- Less bleeding during and after the procedure.
- Simple wound closure with no sutures.
- No need for sharp scalpels to make incisions.
- Minimal pain in the aftermath of your gum surgery.
- Less sensitivity of your teeth.
- Minimal swelling and gum loss.
- Lower risk of post-operative infections.
- Ability to return to your usual activities much more quickly.
- Natural prompting of regeneration of healthy gum tissue.
- Faster and more straightforward healing process. Traditional gum surgery can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks for your gums to completely heal.
What is traditional gum surgery?
Traditional gum surgery has previously been the only option for patients experiencing moderate to severe gum disease that need to have the diseased soft tissue removed and the gums reattached to the teeth. During this procedure, the gum line must be cut using a surgical scalpel in order to reduce the depth of the periodontal pockets. The significantly more invasive nature of traditional gum surgery generally results in two key differences between it and the LANAP technique. These are the level of pain that the patient experiences and the healing process. While anesthetic is usually given, many patients find that they are in some discomfort after their procedure and are reliant on pain relief for at least the first few days. The sutures that are used to close the wounds may be dissolvable, or may require removal by your endodontist, but the recovery process usually takes significantly longer than it does for LANAP patients, and you could see it being around a month before your gums are fully healed.
If you would like more information about either LANAP or traditional gum surgery to treat your periodontal disease, our experienced endodontic team would be delighted to assist you. Please contact our Omaha, NE office to schedule your appointment.