It doesn’t matter what you call it: periodontitis, periodontal disease, gum disease, pyorrhea, or anything else, gum disease is responsible for more lost teeth in the US than anything else. Did you know that studies show that up to 80% of Americans have some level of this chronic infection? That’s a scary statistic, especially since periodontal disease is also linked to worsened diabetes and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. So if you have gum disease, what can you do about it? Well, here’s a quick run-down on the traditional treatments for it, and then we’ll talk about LANAP, the laser alternative to gum surgery.
Treatments for Gum Disease
- Scaling and Root Planing, a.k.a a “deep cleaning,” while good at removing the tartar (calculus) from the teeth and some diseased gum tissue, can’t actually kill the bacteria responsible. Sometimes done together with surgery.
- “Pocket reduction” periodontal surgery, which was essentially cutting away the gums, leaving long tooth roots exposed and sensitive, and the recovery usually took a couple weeks.
To be clear, there is a difference between Gingivitis and Periodontitis. We don’t use LANAP for gingivitis or even early stage periodontitis; that’s like using a flamethrower to swat a fly.
For further reading, if you’re worried about the effect of gum disease on heart attacks or stroke, you don’t need to worry much. There seems to be a small connection, but gum disease can’t cause them by itself.
LANAP: The Laser Gum Surgery Alternative
We’ve been treating patients with LANAP since 2009, which means we’ve been offering it longer than almost anyone in Charlotte. Here is why it’s still one of my favorite things to do for patients:
- It is the most consistently effective treatment for gum disease that I’ve seen since graduating from the UNC Dental School in 1998;
- Patients almost always tell us that the experience, is much easier than they expected;
- 90% of our patients don’t need anything stronger than ibuprofen afterwards;
- 95% of our patients are back to their normal activities the next day;
- For the patients who keep the commitment to every 3 month periodontal maintenance visits, they almost never lose any teeth;
- We can combine LANAP with Invisalign to straighten teeth & make them easier to keep clean.
Developed by Drs. Robert Gregg & Delwin McCarthy, LANAP is a patented protocol. Their desire to provide the best for the patient means that every dentist must be thoroughly trained and licensed in the exact procedure that has been tested for years. In addition, LANAP is the only laser treatment for periodontitis with rigorous studies published, and nearly 20 years of successful treatment, to back it up. That means you can rest assured, it is safe and really works.
LANAP is a procedure that involves multiple steps in a precise order.
- We create a small opening all the way around the teeth with the laser. This step kills bacteria, removes the infected gum tissue, then begins breaking down calculus (tartar).
- We thoroughly remove as much of the tartar build-up as possible.
- We use the laser again to kill more bacteria and to form a clot around the teeth.
- We adjust your bite to level any areas that are hitting together too hard and unevenly.
- We make a nightguard for you to keep the teeth stable at night.
- There is a series of follow-up visits to carefully evaluate your healing.
Videos to Learn about LANAP
The following 2 videos were put together to help you understand gum disease and the different ways it can be treated, as well as why Laser Periodontal TherapyTM is so effective and our preferred recommendation.
LANAP Patient Testimonial
What is most remarkable about LANAP, though, at least in my mind, is that the recovery is amazingly fast. All but a couple of our LANAP patients were back at work the next day, and most have only needed some ibuprofen the evening of the surgery. Just listen to Milli’s experience:
To make an appointment for a Complimentary Consultation:
Request an Appointment Online or call us at 704-364-7069.
We’ll look forward to meeting you soon!