Have you been told you have periodontal disease? Are you dealing with peri-implantitis or a failing implant? Do you suffer from deep pockets between your teeth and gums?
Two modern periodontal therapy options available to you at our offices are LANAP and osseous surgery. Both of these treatments are effective in treating these issues — so how do you know which option is right for you?
Understanding gum disease
The first step in feeling confident in your treatment selection is to understand what exactly is going on with your dental health.
Gum disease is an infection caused when plaque and calculus build up along the gumline. Both plaque and calculus are comprised of bacteria. Without proper oral hygiene, this bacteria will slowly eat away at and damage your teeth, gums, and jaw bone.
Although gum disease is unfortunately quite common, when it’s not treated it can advance to periodontitis. With periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called pockets) that become infected and cause big problems for your health and happiness.
Dangers of untreated gum disease
If you’re reading this, you’re already on the right path toward taking control of your dental health. This is important because when gum disease isn’t promptly treated, the health effects can be serious.
The direct effects on your dental health include:
- Tooth decay and possible tooth loss or implant failure
- Abscesses and infections
- loss of healthy jaw bone and tissue
Beyond your dental health, gum disease is also harmful to your overall health and can increase your risk of:
- Heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Diabetic complications
Thankfully, that’s what our periodontists are here for! A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating issues affecting the oral cavity (gums, bone, and jaw), including periodontal disease. Learn more about what a periodontist is compared to a general dentist (and why you need to see one) here.
LANAP vs. Osseous Surgery
If you’re dealing with the effects of periodontal disease, our periodontists may recommend either surgical and non-surgical periodontal therapy, including LANAP and osseous surgery.
Laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP) is a high-tech, minimally-invasive, and FDA-approved laser periodontal treatment. It is the first (and only) laser treatment for gum disease that’s backed by both clinical and laboratory research.
This modern technique treats gum disease, helps regrow healthy gum tissue, and prevents gum recession — all while leaving healthy tissue intact.
Despite the name, osseous surgery isn’t overly invasive and can be done comfortably. You can think of osseous surgery like an extra deep cleaning!
Osseous surgery, also called pocket-depth reduction, involves removing or recontouring damaged bone around the tooth to get rid of pocketing. This treatment also removes bacteria and tartar to stop the spread of gum disease.
Benefits of LANAP
Since LANAP is a relatively new and revolutionary treatment, we like to take some extra time to highlight the benefits of this laser therapy:
- Promotes regeneration of healthy gum tissue
- Minimal pain, sensitivity, or bleeding
- Reduced swelling and inflammation
- Very little downtime after treatment
- Lower risk of infection
- Faster and more comfortable healing
- Reduced need for pain medication
Why many people choose LANAP over osseous surgery
Although gum surgery is incredibly effective and can be done quickly in a single visit, it does have a few potential drawbacks compared to LANAP.
Sometimes requires a tissue graft
Has slower healing time
Increases your risk of infection
Because of these potential drawbacks, and since LANAP is suitable for almost all patients, our periodontists often recommend LANAP.
Bonus: How to avoid periodontal disease
As you’re considering your options, take some time to consider how you’ll prevent gum disease from continuing to develop. We want to help keep your mouth healthy in the future going forward! Additionally, if you’re suffering from the early stages of gum disease, sometimes preventive treatments can keep the disease from progressing.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Good at-home brushing and flossing habits — Talk to us about what toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash is best for you.
- Routine cleanings — Make sure to visit us every 6 months (or as specified by your hygiene team) for a cleaning.
- Deep cleanings (SRP) — Scaling and root planing (SRP) is one of the most common treatments for early to advanced periodontal disease. Commonly referred to as a deep cleaning, this non-surgical procedure involves reaching beyond the gum line to remove plaque buildup and promote healing.
By catching signs of gum disease early on and taking preventive action, our periodontists will help you maintain a clean and healthy mouth for life.
Find out what type of periodontal treatment is best for you
So what treatment is right for you? Schedule a consultation today and let’s talk about it!
Our team takes a personalized approach — the right treatment for you will depend on your particular situation, your comfort level, and your goals. Our periodontists will help you understand all your options — including the difference between LANAP and gum surgery — and make the best decision for your health.