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Periodontal surgery using scalpels to access and remove diseased tissue has for many years been the only treatment modality available to stabilize periodontal disease. Although this treatment is extremely effective and predictable, the postoperative healing time could be quite uncomfortable for many patients.
Today, due to modern technology most treatment for periodontal disease can be achieved through the use of the dental laser. To date there is only one laser approved by the FDA for the treatment of periodontitis. Dr. Kirkland has incorporated this laser into her practice; the Periolase manufactured by Millennium Technologies. The treatment procedure is known as LANAP (laser assisted new attachment procedure).
The LANAP protocol is the only laser gum disease treatment FDA cleared for True Regeneration. Simply put, the LANAP protocol can re-grow the tissues and bone lost to gum disease. Compared to traditional osseous surgery, patients say the LANAP protocol is:
Less painful, causes less post-op sensitivity, with less gum loss (gum recession) and very little downtime after treatment.
Laser Gum Surgery
The LANAP protocol can ONLY be performed by a periodontist who is certified in the procedure. Dr. Kirkland is a Millennium laser certified Periodontist. During LANAP treatment, the PerioLase MVP-7 dental laser is used instead of a scalpel. The laser fiber is inserted between the gum and tooth, without cutting the gums. The laser light energy targets the source of the inflammation without hurting or removing any healthy gum tissue. This helps to slow or stop attachment loss and decrease pocket depth, and allowing the body to recover from the chronic infection without the need for scalpel or sutures. The gums are not cut to reduce pocket depth. The tops of your teeth (biting surface) are adjusted to keep from hitting your other teeth.
Dental implants are increasingly popular options for missing teeth. The implant is a titanium post placed into your jaw that serves as a substitute for a tooth root, with the tooth crown placed on top. Many dental implants are long term solutions, but as more implants are placed, there are more cases of dental implants that fail. Experts estimate between 3-20% of implants fail. What happens when a dental implant fails?
Peri-Implant Disease Mimics Peridontal Disease
Implants themselves can’t become diseased but the tissue around implants can become infected. Just as periodontal disease (gum disease) starts with minor inflammation that progresses if not treated, peri-implant disease starts as peri-mucosititis (minor inflammation around the implant). If left untreated, the inflammation continues until the bone around the implant erodes and the implant becomes loose. Initial inflammation could be due to existing periodontal bacteria, or due to foreign materials. When the crown of the implant is bonded to the base, small bits of the cement bonding may get stuck between the implant and gum line.
Signs and Symptoms of Peri-Implant Disease
- Swelling in the gums
- Implant mobility
- Bleeding gums
- Change in gum color surrounding implant
- High gum sensitivity
- Implant exposure (gum recession prevents adherence to the
- Implant or crown surface)mild to severe pain around implant site
- Excretion of pus from the implants surrounding tissues
LAPIP (Laser Assisted Peri Implant Procedure)
LAPIP is a first line treatment approach for failing implants or Peri-implantitis as it addresses the underlying causes affecting the health of both the bone and the implant, gum disease. A fiber the width of 3 human hairs is inserted between the implant and the gum. Laser energy kills bacteria, vaporizes cement, and stimulates stems cells found in your bone to reduce the bacterial infection and promote healing.
Alternative Surgical Option
A scalpel is used to cut the gum and flap back the tissue. The implant is cleaned, additional growth factors may be placed in the area to help promote bone growth. The tissue is sutured back together and allowed to heal.