Laser Gum Treatment – LANAP
No Cut. No Sew. No Fear!
Dr. Meyer was the first dentist in Arizona to acquire this technology in order to offer this procedure in 1999. In November 2005 he became a certified trainer with the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry. Although no longer actively training Dr. Meyer continues to research the inter-relationships of the factors of gum disease. November 2005.
Gum Disease affects almost half of the adult population in the US in some form or another. It has now been implicated in a whole host of disease such as; coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. One of the markers for heart disease is a substance found in our blood known as C-Reactive Protein (CRP). CRP is created in the liver to fight inflammation from any cause, which has been shown to be a predictor for heart disease better than cholesterol. As periodontal disease is a persistent inflammatory disease it can significantly elevate CRP and successful periodontal treatment can lower it. Thereby lowering the risk of heart attack more than prescription drugs. If the CRP reading is over 10, or if it does not come decrease with periodontal treatment, it could indicate some other yet to be identified systemic infection, which should be followed up by your doctor. Our superior treatment is discussed below.
This is a new (1999) innovative procedure for the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. After verifying that you are a candidate for this therapy your next experiences are generally quite comfortable. The area of the mouth to be treated, is anesthetized with a local anesthetic. The following schematic shows the steps.
- Periodontal probe indicates excessive pocket depth.
- Then a small fiber optic cable housing the laser is directed to you gum tissues. Laser radiation removes sulcular debris and diseased tissue and pathologic proteins. Tactile feedback from the fiber alerts the practitioner to the presence of root roughness.
- Next a combination of ultrasonic scalers with irrigants and hand instruments are used to cleanse the root surface of accretions.
- Once verified clean, the laser is used once again to finish debriding, sterilize the pocket and cause a coagulum to form. It is this coagulum that heals and becomes a new attachment from the bone to the tooth.
- Then the gum tissues are compressed with finger pressure, against the tooth and a stable fibrin clot forms at the gingival crest.
- Occlusal trauma is adjusted to redirect untoward forces along the long axis of the tooth with a high-speed hand piece and diamond bur.
The following diagram will help show how this is accomplished.
There are situations that comprehensive coordinated Laser ANAP and bite therapy must be used to stabilize the occlusal forces. If the forces are not mitigated, the damaging forces remain and the treatment will have a shorter beneficial effect.
The following pictures show the stages of destruction of the bony supporting structure of the teeth. Although they are schematic in nature, the process is very accurate.
Below are the most frequently asked questions regarding Laser ANAP. Click on the question to display the answer.
What is Periodontal Disease?
It’s an infection of the gums. It starts out as plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form calculus or tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria which attacks the soft tissue around the gums. This early stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis. Symptoms include red swollen gums, bleeding, bad breath and, sometimes, an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Untreated, Gingivitis becomes Periodontitis. At this severe stage, bacteria destroy both the gums and the supporting bone structural Pockets form where teeth are separated from the gums and surrounding bones. Left untreated, Periodontitis eventually results in tooth loss.
What's the best way to treat Periodontal Disease?
LASER PERIODONTAL THERAPY™ LPT™ a patented new non-surgical laser alternative to gum surgery, is a less painful, less traumatic way to treat periodontal disease at any stage.
What's different about LPT™?
LPT™ uses a special kind of laser called the PerioLase®, invented by two dentists in Cerritos, California. Dr. Robert Gregg and Dr. Delwin McCarthy spent years developing a better way to treat gum disease. The laser fiber, which is only about as wide as a couple of human hairs, is inserted between the gum tissue and your tooth, where it painlessly removes the noxious elements that cause gum disease.
How many treatments will I need?
LPT™ doesn’t take much time at all — just two two-hour sessions versus eight to ten one-hour sessions with surgery. You don’t have to worry about bleeding, stitches or post-treatment infection, because your gums haven’t been cut.
What about recovery - will I be in pain or need to follow a special routine?
The sense of recovery is immediate, due to the laser’s ability to seal blood vessels, lymphatics and nerve endings. Of course, your tissue needs time to recover, regenerate and heal over the course of time, but after LPT™, you can drive your car, go back to work, or do anything else you like.
I can see how good LPT™ is - but is it very expensive and will my insurance cover it?
The good news is, LPT™ is actually less expensive — by about 20% — than periodontal surgery. Dental costs vary around the country, so find a PerioLase® dentist in your area for exact figures. There is no special code for our therapy, so if your insurance company will reimburse for conventional surgery, they will reimburse for LASER PERIODONTAL THERAPY™.