Light to the rescue!

March 12, 2013

Dental, Healing, Health

LANAP uses a special laser to selectively kill the disease-causing bacteria and remove only the diseased tissue. There is no cutting, no sewing and no pain.

LANAP uses a special laser to selectively kill the disease-causing bacteria and remove only the diseased tissue. There is no cutting, no sewing and no pain.

by Dr. Nicholas Meyer — 

Periodontal disease and surgery are two terms that traditionally strike fear and horror in the hearts of those who hear them — but, they no longer have to.

Periodontal disease is a deterioration of the supporting structures of the teeth, commonly called the gums. In reality, though, the disease is more encompassing. Often, three tissue structures are involved in this disease process: the teeth, the pink soft gum tissue and the underlying bone. Once the bone begins to deteriorate, surgery is the almost inevitable course of action.

The surgical process usually involves cutting the gums back from the bone, pealing the pink tissue off the bone, and scraping the bone and the roots of the teeth. The tissues are then returned to the bone and sewed down tight. It is not uncommon for people who undergo this procedure to require very strong pain relievers and to miss several days of work.

Thankfully, there is now an alternative. A patented new procedure, Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP), can impart the same benefits with no pain and zero downtime. The patient can get back to their normal life almost as soon as the procedure is over.

Developed recently by two dentists from southern California, LANAP uses a special laser to selectively kill the disease-causing bacteria and remove only the diseased tissue. There is no cutting, no sewing and no pain. A laser fiber as fine as three human hairs is inserted between the tooth and the gum, and aimed parallel to the root surface. This means that energy is directed only where it belongs and actually help.

One other aspect crucial to the success of this procedure is adjusting the bite. All too often, teeth do not mesh properly. The doctor will use care, skill and judgment to align the teeth, allowing for optimal healing. This is no different from a sprained ankle. You would not think of running on it (chewing) or walking without your crutches (bite appliance) while it is healing. Similarly, we need to keep the teeth as aligned as possible.

The cost is approximately 20 percent less than traditional surgery and recovery is much quicker. It really is a win-win for all involved.

 

Nicholas Meyer, D.D.S., practices in Scottsdale, Ariz. He has special interest in the functional aspects of the oral cavity that contribute to such maladies as TMJ, snoring and sleep apnea. He also studies material compatibility and how the materials commonly used in dentistry affect the body. 480-948-0560 or www.milldental.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 1, February/March 2006.

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