How can dental lasers be used to treat gum disease?

Periodontal disease is a disease of the gums and the bone that supports the teeth.  To some extent, it affects about 90% of the population in the United States today.

Among the newest and most effective ways to treat periodontal disease is with the use of the dental laser.  While not for use in all cases, the laser provides another treatment alternative to treat this ubiquitous disease.

Once your dentist or periodontist evaluates the extent of the disease, he/she will determine whether one of the latest laser procedures is a viable alternative.

The laser gum or LANAP procedure consists of several phases.  Initially, a laser will be placed in the periodontal pocket (the space that has developed between the tooth and the gum) to remove any inflammatory tissue.

The tooth and root surfaces are then thoroughly cleaned of any tartar, calculus or any other accretions.  Once the root surfaces are meticulously cleaned, the laser is then reapplied to disinfect the local tissue. 

This new, state of the art procedure has the advantage of being minimally invasive and has been shown, in many cases, to be as effective as traditional periodontal surgery.  The post op symptoms are generally mild and can be controlled with over the counter analgesics.