According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), most Americans over the age of 30 have some level of periodontal disease. Our lifestyle, diet and sugar-rich snacks provide the ideal environment for microorganisms and we are constantly fighting to maintain oral health.
As dentists, we spend a lot of our time treating periodontal disease. We have a few tools in our arsenal, but one unlikely sounding tool is also one of the most effective. A laser. Medical lasers are nothing new. They have been used across medicine for many years but few people realize they can be used in periodontal therapy.
Traditional treatment for periodontal disease
The established treatment for many occurrences of periodontal disease is scaling and root planning. This technique is still used today as it is very effective at treating low level periodontal disease. However, once the pathogen advances beyond the gum line, scaling and root planning become less effective.
Lasers and periodontal therapy
The use of lasers in dentistry is gathering pace. Treatments such as LANAP (Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure) uses special medical-grade lasers to treat soft tissue infections, making it ideal for periodontal therapy.
Benefits of laser periodontal therapy include:
- Less invasive than traditional treatments
- Less discomfort before and after the procedure
- Less recovery time required
- Longer-lasting results
- Perfectly safe in the right hands
Patients with either gingivitis or periodontitis are ideal candidates for laser therapy. We use the laser to first remove infected tissue and then to cauterize the tissue left behind to prevent further infection. The laser can also reach gum pockets, which is a prime breeding ground for the microorganisms that cause periodontitis.
Lasers remove the need for incisions, sutures and recovery periods. While there may be slight discomfort afterwards, it is many times lower than surgical treatments. The treatment also lasts longer too. Many patients who undergo laser periodontal therapy remain symptom free for up to 5 years.
Recovery is almost instantaneous. You will feel the effects immediately and because the laser cauterizes where it works, you should feel little or no discomfort and will be able to carry on with your day as if nothing had happened. That makes it just the kind of treatment holistic dentists prefer, which is why we offer it at Aesthetic Family Dentistry!
If you would like to know more about laser periodontal therapy or think you might be a candidate for the treatment, contact Aesthetic Family Dentistry at 973-627-3617 today.