What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease affects three out of every four American adults, causing damage to the structures that hold the teeth in place. The leading cause of tooth loss, gum disease is also linked to more serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It is particularly important to address any signs of oral infection head-on, preferably with modern periodontal therapy treatment options like LANAP treatment.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a progressive condition that occurs in three stages:
- Gingivitis – During the first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, the gums may appear red, swollen, and become tender to the touch. You may also experience bleeding from the gums while flossing.
- Periodontitis – During the next stage of gum disease, gums begin receding from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can enter and multiply. Your teeth may appear longer as these pockets form.
- Advanced periodontitis – If left unchecked, gum disease progresses into advanced periodontitis, during which the tissues that hold the teeth in the jaw are destroyed. Your gums will continue to recede, and your teeth may shift, feel loose, or fall out without gum treatment.
Catching gum disease in its earliest stages is the best way to prevent extensive damage to the gums and teeth. Regular dental services with Lakewood dentist Dr. Whatcott at Colorado Advanced Dentistry will help maintain the health of your teeth and gums, identifying signs of gum disease before it progresses.
What Is the LANAP Dental Procedure?
LANAP is an acronym for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP). It is a revolutionary FDA-approved laser gum surgery that offers a more comfortable and effective gum disease and gum recession treatment. During the LANAP dental procedure, the dentist uses a special laser (Nd:YAG) that eradicates the pathogens which cause and increase the severity of periodontal disease without harming the gum tissue. The laser is aimed at the periodontal pocket, where most of the harmful agents and diseased tissue accumulates out of reach of conventional tools.
LANAP gum surgery is a deep cleaning of the gum tissue at the microbial (germ) level. Pulsed laser light will remove diseased tissue and destroy harmful bacteria to clear away gum infection. Any bacterial buildup on the roots of your teeth is removed using scaling instruments. Finally, the laser is used to promote clotting and proper healing of the treated tissues. Many patients feel well enough to return to work or normal daily activities after LANAP treatment.
What to Expect During LANAP Treatment?
LANAP dental surgery is a gentle, minimally invasive procedure that can be performed using advanced laser technology right in the comfort and convenience of Dr. Whatcott’s office at Colorado Advanced Dentistry. Since the procedure is gentler on the gums and teeth than other gum treatment options, only a local anesthetic is needed. Typically, one half of your mouth is treated at a time, and the procedure takes approximately two hours.
Visit our LANAP FAQ page to see answers to frequently asked questions about the procedure.
Benefits of LANAP Treatment
LANAP treatment provides the following benefits for your oral health:
- The main benefit of LANAP is its results: it stops gum disease from progressing by destroying the harmful agents in the gums, allowing them to heal. Since periodontal disease worsens with time, a procedure that stops this also allows the effects of other treatments to take hold.
- LANAP allows dentists to remove the least amount of tissue possible while treating gum disease. This means that future procedures like bone and/or skin grafts require less material and can sometimes be avoided altogether.
- No scalpels mean the surgery is less invasive, safer, and less prone to infection than surgeries using traditional tools and has fewer side effects. This also means less after-care is required because there is less swelling and discomfort. As a result, patients return to work much quicker with LANAP.
Why Choose Us
Our dental professionals at Colorado Advanced Dentistry, led by Dr. Mark Whatcott, are highly skilled in performing LANAP surgery, using the latest techniques, technology, and best practices to ensure the safest and most effective treatments.