Periodontal disease refers to infection that targets the tissues surrounding and supporting the tooth structure. This oral infection is mainly initiated by oral bacteria present in the sticky dental plaque and calculus that forms above and below the gingival margin.
To fight off the infection, the immune system releases luekocytes which on interaction with the harmful bacteria or their products, release chemicals that cause gingival inflammation and swelling. Severe cases of periodontitis exhibit a lot of damage, which is difficult to repair using the conventional dental methods like ultrasonic deep cleaning or mouthwash. Such cases require surgical treatment.
Information About Laser Gum Treatment
With time, new attempts are constantly being made in dentistry. Once put into effect such dental treatments ensure quick and highly effective results. A procedure known as Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, also termed as laser periodontal therapy or laser gum therapy has been steadily gaining popularity.
This minimally invasive therapy makes use of a special laser and is touted as a better alternative to conventional medications, or surgeries such as flap surgery or antibiotics. The infection does not resolve with the intake of antibiotics, but the antibacterial action does not last for a long time.
Due to the chronic nature of the periodontal disease, the same noxious microorganisms which cause exacerbation of periodontitis re attack with the same potency, bringing along damaging effects. Let us get to understand the basics of Laser therapy for treating periodontal disease.
Indications For Modern Laser Approach In Gum Disease
This type of treatment can be availed by almost all patients. Patients who are unhappy with short upper front teeth which results in ‘gummy’ smile can resort to laser gum treatment. Other indications include patients who fear undergoing surgical procedures or have loosened, drifted tooth structures coupled with swollen, bleeding gums.
Patients on blood thinning medications such as aspirin or coumadin are not advised against the other conventional surgeries, and same goes for bone destruction and infection around dental implants. In such cases, patient can undergo Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP).
The Procedure Of Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure
Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure is a methodically planned procedure, ideal for treating moderate to advanced periodontitis.
Unlike the Excisisonal Attachment Procedure (ENAP) this particular laser therapy, is carefully designed to selectively remove necrotic and disease afflicted tissue from the interior of the periodontal sulcus. Here are all the steps performed during the laser periodontal therapy.
Pre-Procedural Oral Examination
In keeping with the high standard of dental care, all the potential patients are assessed prior to the procedure with details regarding their past and current medical history, formulation and recording of a new plaque index (to estimate the amount of plaque or calculus deposition), assessment of the grade of tooth mobility, as well as, gingival bleeding index (the ease and severity of gingival bleeding from each tooth surface).
Dental probes are used to record the pretreatment sulcus depth at selected oral sites and accurate radiographs are taken. This helps determine the extent of inflammation and bone destruction and finally, whether the laser procedure is suited for the patient.
The oral examination is followed by a phase of periodontal maintenance, which includes elaborate supra gingival sealing and instructions regarding strict oral hygiene. Immediately before, the laser therapy is carried out, a Perio probe (of 12mm) is utilized to record the exact probing depths at specific sites (total 6 in number) around each tooth.
This particular periodontal therapy is specifically administered to pre-determined sites. In one sitting, the whole arch is not targeted; instead the treatment is split into quadrants (known as split mouth treatment).
The Main Procedure Of Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure
The procedure essentially covers measurement of probing depths, antibiotic medications, Local anesthesia, subgingival scaling and root planing, application of laser followed by occlusal adjustment. Laser troughing is achieved by using a laser pulse for short duration. The laser settings change with each patient and usually falls within a range of 3.0-4.8 W. Laser troughing aims at debriding the sulcus along with de-epithelization. To do so, the tip of laser fiber optic, is placed atop the periodontal pocket.
This initiates the expulsion of necrosed tissue where most of the bacteria thrive and multiply. During this step, only the damaged tissue lining the inner wall of the pocket is targeted, and the healthy tissue is unharmed. An experienced dentist notices the changed tactile feedback and sound variation upon laser tip application which, ascertains that the endpoint is reached.
Once the laser fiber optic tip is pulled out from the periodontal pocket, the next part of the therapy begins. Scaling and root planing is performed using a piezoelectric scaler to break and remove the hard deposits (called calculus or tartar), succeeded by use of small sized curettes and root files that eliminate the buildup on the root surface. Finally, the laser tip is used to finish the pocket debridement and successfully complete removal of affected epithelial tissue. The gum tissue is compressed against the surface of the root so as to close the pocket.
The second pass of laser stimulates the formation of a soft clot. The fibrin clot consists of fibers that help reattach the gingival tissue to the root. The final step involves bite verification. Once checked, the irregularities are rectified as much as possible via splinting or use of a special machine called T-Scan.
This machine points out the exact area or areas where irregular bite exists which are then adjusted by the dentist so as to minimize the chances of bone loss and bacteria entry while the tissue is healing. Thus, a healthy oral environment is induced through Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure that allows the soft tissue to regenerate.
Benefits Offered By Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure
The laser therapy does not involve complex procedures, not even incisions, cutting or suturing of the tissue. In short, it is a minimally invasive alternative for those who are apprehensive or contraindicated for conventional periodontal surgery.
The patient experiences little or no discomfort as compared to standard treatments, either during or after the procedure.
Less Time Consuming
As compared to traditional periodontal surgeries, laser treatment requires less time in each sitting. Also, the recovery time is short, as well.
Safe Procedure For people With Health Concerns
As mentioned afore, this form of treatment is safe for patients with conditions such as HIV, diabetes or hemophilia.