PERIOLASE / LANAPSusie Shin Dental Care
What is LANAP?
Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, or LANAP, is a breakthrough periodontal disease treatment. With LANAP, there is no cutting or sewing of tissues. Traditional gum surgery involves cutting away some of the gum tissue and reshaping the bone underneath, but with LANAP this is no longer necessary.
LANAP is a progressive technique using a specialized laser to destroy the bacteria which cause disease, and alters the tissue so that it has the opportunity to heal with it’s own cells. The use of laser is less invasive than traditional scalpel surgery, and results in a much faster and less painful recovery. Diseased areas treated with the LANAP method can regrow destroyed bone and supportive tissues around the teeth with little discomfort to patients.
During your LANAP procedure, the mouth is numbed, just like if you were having a filling or crown done. Sedation is available if you prefer. The pockets are measured while you are numb so that more accurate measurements can be made without causing discomfort.
A first pass is made with the laser, giving the doctor access to the depth of the pockets and allowing better visualization of the roots and teeth. Then the teeth are cleaned very thoroughly using ultrasonic instruments which have tips that vibrate very quickly, loosening up any deposits on the teeth and flushing them away with an irrigating solution. A second pass is made with the laser, disinfecting the pockets and sealing them up through the formation of a stable blood clot. The bite is then adjusted to minimize the destructive, uneven clenching forces on the teeth. Typically, one half of the mouth is treated at a time. The surgical visits are ideally made 1-2 weeks apart and take about 2 hours on average.
Most people experience some mild soreness of the treated areas for the first few days. The tissue will appear discolored around the teeth, similar to what a scab looks like when you get it wet. It is very important NOT to brush or pick this away, as this fibrin barrier is what allows the gums underneath to get a head start creating new attachment to the teeth.
Your bite will feel different as if the teeth don’t touch together as heavily on the treated side. This can feel imbalanced at first, but the teeth will quickly adapt. After both sides have been treated, as further refinements are made, your bite should feel stronger and more stable than ever, and more comfortable. As the gums heal, the teeth will shift and your bite will need to be adjusted several times over the first few weeks, even for the first year and beyond. Although it seems counterintuitive, inadequate adjustment is what is usually responsible for soreness or sensitivity following LANAP. It is essential that you follow the strictly prescribed timeline for the successful outcome of the treatment. LANAP is a comprehensive full-mouth treatment. If the time sequence is not adhered to as recommended, additional treatment may be necessary.
Professional teeth cleaning is recommended every three months for the first year and reevaluation of your periodontal disease will be done at the 12-month visit. Most people with gum disease remain at risk for the rest of their lives and would benefit from having their teeth cleaned at every three months indefinitely.
What Will LANAP Not Do?
- It will not grow receding gums back (you may need tissue grafts).
- It will not allow you to avoid daily home care.
- It will not allow you to avoid cleanings every 3 months.
- It is NOT magical.
- It does not cure everyone on the first treatment (severe cases may need multiple
treatments over time).