Onset of gum diseases happen when tartar, made up of bacteria settle beneath the gum line, and begin to infect and inflame the tissues that support teeth. The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis and can usually be taken care of with regular scaling and by following the dental hygiene measures as instructed by your dentist. Gingivitis, however can advance to periodontitis, if left untreated where the gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. Advanced periodontitis is characterised by deepening of these pockets often filled with pus, and accompanied by swollen gums around the base of the teeth leading to bone loss and weakening of the ligaments that hold teeth in place, eventually resulting in tooth loss. Severe gum disease does not resolve without intervention, and might require gum surgeries.
Laser treatment for gum disease is the latest therapeutic method available to combat periodontitis. This procedure is called laser assisted new attachment procedure or LANAP. While some severe cases of periodontitis require conventional gum surgery, LANAP is generally a feasible substitute for most patients. LANAP is a minimally invasive therapeutic form with little or no discomfort as it does not require scalpel or sutures. As LANAP does not require the cutting of gums to decrease pocket depth, there occurs hardly any gum recession, or cosmetic modification of your smile. Moreover, the laser is capable of distinguishing between diseased and healthy tissue, thereby killing all the bacteria and removing only necrotic tissue and not causing any harm to the healthy tissues. LANAP has emerged as an excellent gum therapy especially for patients with high dental anxiety and for patients who are immunocompromised due to systemic illnesses like uncontrolled diabetes or infections like HIV where normally performing flap surgery is highly risky.
STEPS IN LANAP:
Step-1: The gums are isolated using cotton roles and Anaesthetic gel is applied. Injection of local anaesthesia is given only in case of deep pockets.
Step-2: Dentist inserts the laser fibreoptic tip, into the infected pocket to kill bacteria and infected tissue.
Step-3: Thorough scaling and root planning is done using scalers and curettes. The infected inner layer of gums is removed initiating fresh bleeding. Lasers are run around the sulcus of the teeth which provides complete sterilization in the deepest of pockets and enhances blood clot formation which gradually leads to sealing of the gums around the root surface of teeth leading to new attachment.
Benefits of LANAP:
-Little or no patient discomfort during and after the procedure.
-Very few dietary restrictions, postoperative medications and instructions to be taken care of.
-No postoperative gum recessions.
-Quicker recovery time.