How Can Lasers Be Used to Treat Gum Disease?

LANAP — or laser-assisted new attachment procedure — utilizes lasers to destroy diseased gum tissue and remove it from root of the tooth. The heat of the laser first causes the diseased gum tissue to separate from the rest of the patient’s mouth and then cauterizes the wound, forming a blood clot. Once the infected tissue is gone, the dentist is able to scrape off all of the plaque and tartar that has built up underneath the gums and in the root area. Then, the dentist uses specialized instruments to smooth the tooth’s root in order to not leave behind any places that might attract bacteria in the future, which would likely lead to new infections. As the patient’s mouth heals, the gum and the root slowly knit themselves back together in a healthy way.

Risks and Benefits of Laser Treatment for Gum Disease

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and other institutions recognize several benefits of the use of lasers to expunge diseased gum tissue, including:

  • Shortened recovery and healing times
  • The ability to target on the diseased area in a precise, accurate fashion
  • Less pain, swelling, and bleeding because this is a less invasive procedure
  • No need for general anesthesia, unlike some dental surgeries
  • Reduced anxiety for patients, who are often afraid of dental surgery
  • Secures deep periodontal pockets so that new bacteria cannot get in

This procedure is not a perfect one, of course, and as such there are some risks and drawbacks:

  • Potential for the dentist to use too much power on the laser or an inappropriate wavelength, which could further harm the gum tissue instead of helping it
  • Some dentists are concerned that there is too much advertising hype for this treatment and that patients will expect it to perform miracles

At Empress Walk Dental, our dentists are fully trained to use all of our technologies. It is our goal to maximize the benefits for our patients and minimize the risk factors as much as possible.

What To Do After a Laser Treatment

After your laser treatment, your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to care for your mouth during the recovery period. It is critical that you follow these instructions so that your healing proceeds as it should. As a general rule of thumb, when you have received some sort of treatment for periodontal disease, it is key to follow up with a good oral hygiene routine — otherwise, you leave yourself vulnerable to getting another infection and having to undergo treatment all over again.

We recommend that you brush your teeth on a daily basis and use an antimicrobial mouth rinse. If you are a smoker, you should strongly consider stopping to reduce your risk of recurring infections in the future. If you are not currently a smoker, certainly do not start! If you take good care of your gums, you will be much happier and healthier in the long run.

If you’d like more information about laser treatments for periodontal disease or would like to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient Toronto or North York locations, please give Empress Walk Dental a call at 416-250-8000!

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5095 Yonge St, Unit A1, North York, ON M2N 6Z4

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