Gum Disease Treatment (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease can cause swollen and bleeding gums and may eventually lead to loss of teeth and surrounding bone. It also has been linked to an increased risk for many serious health complications, including:
Premature Birth or Low Birth-Weight Babies
Memory Loss or Dementia
Head and Neck Cancer
Laser Dentistry: LANAP ® (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure)
Basic Steps of the LANAP® Protocol
Patients seeking gum disease treatment need to know their gum disease treatment options. In addition to traditional gum surgery, there is also the option of laser gum surgery. As a dentist using laser surgery, Dr. Bruce Nelson wants to educate his patients on the benefits of the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®). However, before you can understand the benefits, you must first learn how laser gum disease treatment works.
LANAP® is a simple six-step operation:
Evaluating loss of attachment – During the first step of laser gum disease treatment, Dr. Nelson will measure the depths of your periodontal pockets. This will tell us the severity of the tissue detachment so that we can adjust treatment accordingly.
Removal of infected tissue – Dr. Nelson will then use the laser for the first time to remove any bacteria or diseased tissue from the area. This laser does not have an effect on healthy bone, root, or healthy tissue, making laser gum disease treatment a less invasive treatment.
Removal of calculus – the next step is the removal of calculus deposits from underneath the gum line by your dentist. Using laser surgery alone will not remove these deposits, so an ultrasonic scaler is required for this part.
Formation of the blood clot – Dr. Nelson will use the laser a second time to create a blood clot and form a safe, stable environment for healing to begin. This will also stimulate regrowth of the bone and soft tissue. In many cases, laser gum disease treatment is able to reverse the effects of gum disease and save teeth would otherwise be lost.
Tissue Recompression – Then, Dr. Nelson will recompress the tissue against the surface of your teeth. Laser gum disease treatment does not require stitches for this step.
Bite adjustment – The last and final step of laser gum disease treatment is to adjust the bite and check your teeth for any signs of occlusal (biting pressure) trauma. After the 1-week post-treatment evaluations are done by Dr. Nelson, Continuing Periodontal Maintenance will be recommended at 3 month intervals to promote and maintain healthy gums.
It is very rare that patients will require pain medication following laser gum disease treatment. This means that you can get back to your daily routine as soon as you leave our office. For more information about laser gum disease treatment in Phoenix, AZ, contact Dr. Nelson to schedule a consultation today!
Periodontal Cleanings and Maintenance
Our hygienist Wendy was trained by the founders of the PerioLase® MVP-7™ and received a certificate from the Advanced Laser Institute in 2003. She supplements periodontal maintenance treatments with the use of the laser as needed.
Scaling and Root Planing
When plaque is not removed properly, it attracts bacteria and turns into difficult to remove calculus, or tartar. The bacteria spreads to the gums and causes them to pull away from the tooth, creating periodontal pockets. When the periodontal disease is left untreated, it can spread to the bone and cause tooth loss. Scaling and root planing can be effective in the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis. Many patients who have gingivitis or more advanced stages of periodontal disease often experience bleeding and sore gums when brushing, flossing and eating.
The general steps of the scaling and root planing treatment may include a topical or local anesthetic to numb the areas of treatment. The treatment may require an ultrasonic tool to remove the calculus. Your doctor or dental hygienist will use the instruments below the gum line to clean the root of your tooth. The goal of this deep cleaning process is to clear away the tartar and smooth the surface of the tooth to encourage the gum to reattach to the tooth.
It is necessary for scaling and root planing treatment patients to maintain their oral health and cleanliness after the procedure. Home maintenance is a major part of the healing process—the areas cleaned need to be free of food and debris in order to keep the bacteria from entering the periodontal pockets. Extra brushing and flossing may be required to ensure the area is clean at all times. It is also important to discontinue use of tobacco products. This will promote healing and reduce risk of infection. Research shows that in addition to excellent home care, professional periodontal maintenance appointments at approximately 3-month intervals help to reduce disease progression and maintain optimal health.
Our hygienists provide our patients with the most comfortable dental hygiene care possible. The use of our ultrasonic instruments provide exceptional cleaning ability and benefits for our patients. Each patient is uniquely cared for and appointments can be customized for individual needs. Ultrasonic instruments can greatly enhance the success of our periodontal treatments.