How to Treat Gum Disease
Whether you call it periodontitis, periodontal disease, gum disease, pyorrhea, or anything else, gum disease is responsible for more lost teeth in the US than any other cause. Bet you didn’t know that, did you? And did you know that studies show that up to 80% of Americans have some level of this chronic infection? That’s a scary statistic, especially since periodontal disease is also linked to worsened diabetes and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. So if you have gum disease, what can you do about it? Well, here’s a quick run-down on the traditional treatments for it, and then we’ll talk about an amazing gum surgery alternative.
- Scaling and Root Planing, a.k.a a “deep cleaning,” while good at removing the tartar (calculus) from the teeth and some diseased gum tissue, can’t actually kill the bacteria responsible. Sometimes done together with surgery.
- “Pocket reduction” periodontal surgery, which was essentially cutting away the gums, leaving long tooth roots exposed and sensitive, and the recovery usually took a couple weeks.
- Antibiotics, such as Arestin, which may help a little.
LANAP: The Laser Gum Surgery Alternative
Currently (as of late 2016), only 8 Charlotte dentists offer this exciting, effective, and comfortable treatment alternative to treat moderate and severe gum disease, and we are proud to be one of them, because we see just how awesome the results are. We’ve been treating patients with LANAP for over 7 years now, and here is why it’s still one of my favorite things to do for patients:
- It is the most consistently effective treatment for gum disease that I’ve seen in 18 years of full-time dental practice;
- Patients almost always tell us that the experience, even when we treat the whole mouth in 1 visit, is much easier than they expected;
- 90% of our patients don’t need anything stronger than ibuprofen afterwards;
- 95% of our patients are back to their normal activities the next day;
- For the patients who keep the commitment to every 3 month periodontal maintenance visits, they almost never lose any teeth;
- We can combine LANAP with Invisalign to straighten teeth & make them easier to keep clean.
Developed by Drs. Robert Gregg & Delwin McCarthy, LANAP is a patented protocol. Their desire to provide the best for the patient means that every dentist must be thoroughly trained and licensed in the exact procedure that has been tested for years. In addition, LANAP is the only laser treatment for periodontitis with published literature to back it up. So what that means to you is that it is safe and really works.
LANAP is a procedure that involves multiple steps in a precise order.
- We create a small opening all the way around the teeth with the laser, which kills bacteria and the infected gum tissue, then begins breaking down calculus (tartar).
- We use various instruments to thoroughly remove as much of the tartar build-up as possible.
- We use the laser again to kill more bacteria and to form a clot around the teeth.
- We adjust your bite to remove any areas where you may be grinding your teeth and loosening them.
- We make a nightguard for you to keep the teeth stable and not moving at night.
- There is a series of follow-up visits to carefully evaluate your healing.
Videos to Learn about LANAP
The following 2 videos were put together to help you understand gum disease and the different ways it can be treated, as well as why Laser Periodontal TherapyTM is so effective and our preferred recommendation.
LANAP Patient Testimonial
What is most remarkable about LANAP, though, at least in my mind, is that the recovery is amazingly fast. All but a couple of our LANAP patients were back at work the next day, and most have only needed some ibuprofen the evening of the surgery. Just listen to Milli’s experience: