The Problem: Periodontitis – or gum disease – is a polymicrobial infection. There are various types of periodontitis, but all of them result from an interaction between your immune system and bacteria. Many of these bacteria are found in plaque (biofilm) that collects on the gum line. This is usually a result of improper dental hygiene.
The lining of the gum tissues become inflamed, and sometimes even get ulcerated in response to the bacteria. This inflammatory response can cause the breakdown of the periodontal tissues and tooth-supporting bone. The worst outcome is tooth loss.
Solving the Problem: You might be wondering what options there are to eradicate this problem. The traditional treatment would be scaling and root planning. This removes the plaque (biofilm) by scaling the root surfaces and then they are disinfected. But now, since we live in the age of technology and medical advances, there is a new treatment for gum disease called laser therapy.
Laser Therapy: When using the traditional method of scaling and root planning, the gums would be cut during the procedure, but with laser therapy you don’t have to worry about bleeding, stitches, or post-treatment infection because your gums won’t be cut. This therapy is also less time consuming and traumatic, because it only takes two two-hour sessions as opposed to eight to ten one-hour sessions with surgery.
The recovery is immediate with this procedure, due to the laser’s ability to seal blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerve endings. Your tissue obviously needs time to recover, and heal over time but after the procedure you don’t need to worry about being stuck in bed because you can go back to work, drive your car, or anything else.
How Does Laser Therapy Work? The laser fiber, which is only about as wide as three human hairs, is inserted between the gum tissue and your tooth where it painlessly removes the noxious elements that cause gum disease. This removes inflamed pocket linings by physically interacting with the bacteria and killing it by absorption of laser energy. This significantly, if not totally, decreases sub-gingival bacteria. It’s also shown to remove calculus and biofilm from root surfaces. The laser is then inserted once more to remove any remaining diseased tissue at the bottom of the pocket. This last pass of the laser sterilizes the tissues and prepares the root surface to enable healthy gum attachment and helps seal the pocket closed.
If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with periodontal disease and are interested in LANAP laser therapy, please contact us at The Silberg Center. Dr. Silberg and the rest of our team would be more than happy to help you.