Laser Gum Surgery LANAP Versus Traditional Gum Surgery

Laser Gum Surgery LANAP Versus Traditional Gum Surgery

When a patient has been diagnosed with gum disease, a periodontist will begin working with him or her to provide treatment options. Fortunately, there are various types of procedures and treatments that patients have to choose from in order to eradicate the disease. Each option has its own set of pros and cons, as well as risks and physical benefits. The two types of surgical treatments that are used most often are LANAP gum surgery and transitional laser gum surgery. 

The following are examples of patient options to treat gum disease:

Nonsurgical Treatments

  • root planing
  • scaling
  • antibiotics


Surgical Treatments

  • flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery)
  • soft tissue grafts
  • bone grafting
  • guided tissue regeneration
  • tissue-stimulating proteins

Is Laser Periodontal Therapy (LANAP) Worth It? 

LANAP stands for Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure and is the surgical therapy that is used in the treatment of peritonitis, or gum disease; and it is FDA approved. This procedure has been around for almost three decades. Alternatively, traditional gum surgery, also known as flap surgery, has been around for much longer. Due to the length of time both have been available as options to patients, there is significant research on the efficacy of both. Some experts believe that the efficacy of choosing a laser-type treatment over other treatment options is not necessarily much greater; but of course, there are proponents and opponents to every treatment option. 

On the other hand, some periodontists prefer LANAP over other methods for a reason. It is important to remember that each patient is dealt with on a case-by-case basis and not all cases of periodontitis are identical. For some, the benefits of going through laser treatment outweigh that of the traditional method.

 With all of that being said, there is substantial research that shows the efficacy of LANAP laser surgery is higher than that of traditional laser gum surgery. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of the LANAP Laser Gum Surgery? 

According to the LANAP site, the following are considered pros of having this type of surgery:

  • Less post-operative pain — Using the PerioLase MVP-7 dental laser, the LANAP protocol helps avoid cutting and stitching of the gums. As a result, patients usually have minimal postoperative discomfort.
  • Quicker recovery time — Immediately following the LANAP procedure, most patients are able to return to their regular daily activities, which generally requires less than a 24-hour recovery period. Following traditional scalpel and suture surgery, recovery can take two to four weeks, during which patients can experience considerable pain and swelling.
  • Healthy gums with minimal recession — Because the LANAP protocol uses laser technology rather than cutting your gums, the tissue stays intact and is not compromised.
  • Regeneration without foreign materials — Because the PerioLase laser stimulates your body’s own healing response, your LANAP dentist doesn’t have to add foreign ‘growth factors.’

There are not many experts who claim to admit to many cons of the LANAP procedure. Sometimes, however, depending on a patients’ circumstances, other more invasive surgeries would be more suitable and LANAP would not be appropriate.

What Can I Expect After Surgery?

Experts of traditional gum surgery (or flap surgery) describe it as where a dentist cuts into and peels back gum tissue with a scalpel. By doing so, the dentist is able to expose the roots of the teeth, making cleaning, bone reshaping and cutting gum tissue possible. Sutures are used to secure gums back in place.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always serve to be effective or the gum disease has already damaged the bone around the tooth root; in which case, a bone graft would have to be done to repair the area.

The cost of laser gum surgery is truly dependent upon several factors and can range on average between $1,000 and $3,000 without insurance. These factors, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry are dependent on:

  • the technology used in the procedure
  • the location of your dentist
  • the type of dental insurance you have
  • the type of treatment plan required
  • additional required procedures

The aftercare, or postoperative instructions for traditional laser gum surgery include that the patient do the following:

  • to take prescribed pain meds as directed (if needed)
  • be careful when chewing food (a liquid diet may be recommended)
  • take precaution when brushing teeth; do not brush for one week
  • no flossing for at least a month

Alternatively, the average cost of a LANAP procedure is between $4,000 and $15,000 for the full mouth, which is the only way LANAP is performed.

The aftercare, or postoperative instructions for LANAP surgery include that the patient do the following:

  • leave any fibrous clotting material you encounter alone
  • do not apply excessive tongue or cheek pressure to the treated area
  • place an ice pack on face if swelling occurs
  • no aerobic activity for 48 hours
  • you may eat solid foods after a few days
  • when eating do not chew on the side of your mouth which has been treated

With either procedure, follow-up care with the periodontist who performed the surgery, along with any maintenance he or she recommends is highly imperative to promote healing. It would not be wise to veer from professional advice.

As stated earlier, there will always be pros and cons, as well as benefits and disadvantages to any type of medical procedure, especially a surgery. It is best to not only listen to a licensed professional (dentist or periodontist) and to gather your own research from credible sources in order to make a sound decision regarding your health.

We are always here to help you make the most informed and educated decisions for your oral health. To schedule your free consultation with one of the experts here at Advanced Periodontics, dial (212)581-1090, today!

How Laser Therapy Treats Periodontal Disease

How Laser Therapy Treats Periodontal Disease

 Periodontitis, also simply called gum disease, can happen easily and quickly if bacteria in the mouth is left to its own device. When a sticky film of plaque begins to form on teeth, it is mostly composed of bacteria. The mouth contains 500 to 1,000 different types of bacteria, some helpful and some not so much.

If the bad bacteria is left untreated—for example, by not flossing and brushing regularly, plaque continues to build up and can turn into tartar and gingivitis, as well as the more serious periodontal disease. Unfortunately, many people begin to have symptoms of gum disease before they even realize that they have it, especially if they are not visiting a dentist regularly.

Signs and symptoms of gum disease can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • swollen or puffy gums
  • bright red, dusky red or purplish gums
  • gums that feel tender when touched
  • gums that bleed easily
  • pink-tinged toothbrush after brushing
  • spitting out blood when brushing or flossing your teeth
  • bad breath
  • pus between your teeth and gums
  • loose teeth or loss of teeth
  • painful chewing
  • new spaces developing between your teeth
  • gums that pull away from your teeth (recede), making your teeth look longer than normal
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

There are several treatment options out there for those with periodontitis The treatment options range from non-surgical, less invasive treatments such as taking antibiotics or root planing  — to more invasive treatments such as surgery.

Laser treatment is considered one of the least invasive options and there are numerous benefits to choosing laser over another in order to treat periodontal disease.

Can laser help treat my gum disease?

The use of a laser in the treatment of gum disease has been around for over two decades and has been evolving ever since. Being that laser treatment has such a developed history in the world of dentistry, opinions vary when it comes to which treatment method serves as the most effective. Some experts believe that the efficacy of choosing laser treatment over other treatment options is much more effective, less invasive, and less time-consuming than that of other treatment options. 

Each patient is dealt with on a case-by-case basis and not all cases of periodontitis are identical. For some, the benefits of going through laser treatment outweigh the benefits from other treatment options. 

At our practice, we make it a point to first provide each of our patients with a thorough evaluation. It is important to fully assess each dental situation before moving further ahead. Then, once we have gathered all the pertinent information we need, we offer treatment options that are specific to the patient’s case. Next, we educate our patients on all the options we find are viable for them and their personal situation. Why? We want each of our patient’s to independently make the most educated and appropriate decision that will suit their lifestyle and needs. Finally, our patient has made their decision and they are on the road to perfecting their smile. 

What are the benefits of laser dentistry treatment? 

Once we confirm that a patient needs treatment for gum disease and their options are discussed, it is up to them to make an informed decision. Below, we’ve provided a list of benefits offered by laser treatment to aid in the decision making process. 

The benefits of laser dentistry treatment include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • reduced anxiety in patients
  • minimally invasive
  • eliminated drill noise
  • eliminated noisy ultrasonic instruments
  • reduced bleeding
  • no general anesthesia is needed
  • preserves healthy parts of teeth
  • sealed periodontal pockets
  • reduced gum trauma
  • reduced or eliminated tooth loss
  • minimized swelling during treatment
  • faster healing time

 Certain individuals may see some of these benefits and believe that laser treatment is the right option for them; and certain periodontists may have the professional opinion that the procedure will be effective for their patients’ individualized needs. 

How does laser periodontal therapy treat gum disease? 

Like with all procedures, patients are typically eager to understand the process. 

A laser gives off a quite powerful beam of infrared radiation. When this light penetrates materials, such as in the mouth, the high energy breaks up and removes the diseased portions. This is precisely how the laser serves to do away with the gum disease. 

The experts at Colgate describe the actual laser procedure in more detail:

“In periodontal laser therapy, the provider uses a dental laser to access and remove the inflamed gum tissue from around the root of the tooth. When the infected tissue is removed and the root is exposed, the root scaling begins. This involves scraping off the calculus and plaque build-up below the gum line and around the root. The dentist then smooths the root with instruments to remove any rough spots that might attract bacteria and cause future infections. The area between the gum and the root can then regenerate during the healing process.”

 Following the procedure, there will definitely be aftercare instructions and checkups with the periodontist. The patient will need to follow directives to allow healing and to ensure that they do not get gum disease once again. By not heeding professional advice, patients could experience unwanted setbacks and the consequences could be greater the next time around.

Despite there being multiple ways to prevent gum disease, in some cases the development is inevitable. Genetic predisposition puts even the most careful at risk. Thankfully, however, great strides have been made in the field of periodontology throughout the years. In addition, credible research and new technology continue to present themselves. Never fear when faced with a dental issue such as the possibility of gum disease. Early detection is the best form of protection. Schedule an appointment with us, as soon as possible, and we will take every measure in getting you on the road to smile recovery.