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Laser Treatment May Soon Replace Painful Gum Procedures

Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on Sep 13 2017, 07:46 AM

Laser Treatment May Soon Replace Painful Gum Procedures

For patients with damaged or diseased gum tissue caused by advanced gum disease like periodontitis, treatment options have historically been very slim, and very painful. But a new laser-assisted treatment called "laser-assisted new attachment procedure," or LANAP, may be poised to change the periodontal surgery game forever.

Developed by Robert H. Gregg II and Delwin McCarthy, the LANAP procedure uses lasers to precisely cut away diseased gum tissue in the gum pocket without taking out healthy tissue in the process. This precision makes the procedure much less painful, and because it leaves healthy tissue behind, it allows the gums to heal faster and the areas with removed tissue to regenerate faster.

Dr. Martin Abelar is one of a select few dentists in San Diego, California, who is already using LANAP in his practice.

"I strongly prefer the LANAP procedure over traditional gum surgery because it is less invasive, and less invasive means it’s also less painful," says Abelar. "There are no incisions made to the gums, which means there’s no need for sutures."

Furthermore, unlike with traditional gum surgery, most patients do not require opioid-level pain medication during the healing process, and most can drive themselves home following the procedure.

"One of the major reasons people avoid seeking treatment for gum disease is that they’re afraid of the pain involved in treating it. With LANAP, that pain is greatly minimized, so that hopefully will remove some of the fear about the procedure and encourage patients to get help sooner," says Abelar. "It’s a faster procedure, and a more convenient procedure. It’s less invasive and less painful, and it has a better prognosis, because it regrows damaged tissue instead of just creating scar tissue."

With serious, life-threatening diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes linked to gum disease, procedures like LANAP have the potential to save lives, says Abelar.

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