WHAT IS LANAP?
Traditional gum surgery involves cutting away some of the gum tissue and reshaping the bone underneath. LANAP® is a progressive technique using a specialized laser to destroy the bacteria which cause disease and alters the tissue so that it has the opportunity to heal. The use of the laser is less invasive than traditional scalpel surgery & results in a much faster and less painful recovery!
HOW LANAP WORKS
A. Depth of pocket is measured under anesthesia
B. Laser selectively removes pocket lining
C. Ultrasonic instruments clean root surfaces
D. Laser disinfects pocket & seals the wound
E. Tissue is compressed against the tooth
F. Bite is adjusted through selective grinding
G. Healing results in new attachment
YOUR SURGICAL VISITS
Usually, we treat one half of the mouth at a time. The surgical visits are ideally made 1-2 weeks apart & take about 2 hours each on average.
The mouth is numbed, just like if you were having a filling or crown. Sedation is available if you prefer. The pockets are measured while you are numb, so that more accurate measurements can be made without causing discomfort.
A first pass is made with the laser, giving the doctor access to the depth of the pockets & allowing better visualization of the roots of the teeth. The teeth are cleaned very thoroughly using ultrasonic instruments which have tips that vibrate very quickly, loosening any deposits on the teeth & flushing them away with an irrigating solution.
A second pass is made with the laser, disinfecting the pockets & sealing them up through the formation of a stable blood clot. The bite is then adjusted to minimize destructive, uneven clenching forces on the teeth.
THE FIRST FEW DAYS
Most people experience some mild soreness of the treated areas for the first few days. The tissue will appear discolored around the teeth, similar to what a scab looks like when wet. It is very important NOT to brush or pick this away, as the fibrin barrier is what allows the gums underneath to get a head start creating a new attachment to the teeth.
Your bite will feel different as if the teeth do not touch each other as heavily on the treated side. This can feel imbalances at first, but the teeth will quickly adapt. After both sides have been treated, as further refinements are made, your bite should feel stronger & more stable than ever.
CONTINUING FOLLOW UP CARE
As the gums heal, the teeth will shift and your bite will need to be adjusted several times over the first few weeks, even for the first year & beyond. Although it seems counter-intuitive, inadequate adjustment is what is usually responsible for soreness or sensitivity following LANAP.
Professional cleanings are recommended every three months for the first year & re-evaluation of your condition will be done at the 12 month visit. Most people with gum disease remain at risk for the rest of their lives & would benefit from having their teeth cleaned every three months indefinitely.