Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy
Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy(Non-Surgical Therapy)
Periodontal disease or gum disease is an infection of bone and supporting structures of your teeth. Before 30 years of age, decay is the major reason for tooth loss and after 30 years of age, gum disease is the major reason for tooth loss. It is estimated that over 80% of the adult population has gum disease to one degree or another.
Periodontal bacteria can cause an inflammatory reaction which leads to destruction of the fibers that connect teeth to bone and can create a space called a periodontal pocket. While everyone has some amount of pocketing, normal depths are 1-3 mm. You can keep a pocket of 3 mm or less clean by yourself with routine brushing, flossing and rinsing. However, when the pockets are deeper than 3 mm, it is impossible to clean and maintain them. As a result there is debris and bacteria living at the bottom of these pockets which leads to chronic gum infection. At times this infection can cause a bad taste or odor in your mouth. As we age we become more susceptible to periodontal bacteria and lack of proper hygiene or cleaning is another reason for periodontal disease. Without treatment your teeth will lose enough support to become loose and painful and will eventually be lost.
How are Lasers Used to Treat Gum Disease
Lasers are used as a conservative nonsurgical treatment for periodontal disease as an alternative to avoid conventional periodontal surgery . With proper home care and your participation this procedure can often alleviate the problem. Dr. Scianni or his hygienist will go around each involved tooth to remove any debris and calcified deposits that are adhering to your teeth in a process called scaling and root planing. A good analogy to this part of the cleaning is like removing barnacles off of a pier. Scaling and root planing will remove the mechanical irritants to your guns and supporting bone and also removes a major reservoir of periodontal bacteria.
After removing the tartar and calculus a laser is used to selectively remove diseased or infected tissues lining the pockets around the teeth. At the same time, by a process called Laser Bacterial Reduction, the laser will kill the bacteria that cause your gum disease and promote healing of your gums around your teeth. Lasers may also help increase circulation and collagen formation at the bottom of your periodontal pockets and help revive or rejuvenate your attachment.
If periodontal disease is diagnosed early, nonsurgical therapy may be the only treatment necessary. This specialized treatment is performed over a series of appointments for maximum effectiveness. The goal of the initial treatment is to reduce the death of the pockets around affected teeth and control the bacteria and inflammation associated with periodontal disease. Many patients comment on the gentle nature of laser therapy and notice a faster healing process. At times, conventional surgery may still be needed for some periodontal cases.
Lasers are used because of the precise control they afford Dr. Scianni and the comfort they provide to patients. Lasers perform many functions at once. Not only can a laser remove the diseased tissue and decontaminate periodontal pockets, it can also be used to seal blood vessels and nerve endings, reducing bleeding and postoperative pain and swelling. Additionally, at times, a laser may be used with minimal anesthetic. Laser therapies are a more conservative, effective, and comfortable option.
The use of a dental laser may make you feel more comfortable and less anxious during your treatments. If you are interested in learning more about procedures that use soft tissue dental laser technology, please contact us.