Advances in laser technology now allow periodontists to treat gum disease with a laser, not a scalpel and give people healthy gums without surgery. The procedure is called LANAP, an acronym for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure. This FDA approved procedure lets the light of the laser, rather than the steel of the scalpel blade treat periodontal disease.
There are 4 steps to laser periodontal therapy. First, the laser is used to remove the diseased tissue in the periodontal pocket. The laser is also very effective at killing the bacterial in the pocket and loosening the calculus (tartar) from the roots. Next, piezo scaling instruments and antibacterial irrigation is used to remove the calculus from the roots of the teeth and flush out the pocket. The third step involves using the laser on a different setting to form a fibrin clot between the gum and the root. This serves as the framework for bone regrowth and reconnection of the gum to the tooth. Finally, the bite is adjusted to reduce excessive forces that contribute to bone loss and to allow the bone to heal.
Compared to cut and stitch gum surgery, laser periodontal therapy involves less time, less discomfort, less recession, and a more rapid return to normal function.
LANAP is practiced in about 1000 dental offices throughout the United States and is spreading rapidly.
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Dr. David Scharf is Long Island's first choice for dental implants and healthy gums without surgery. He was recently voted "Best Dentist" on Long Island by the Long Isand Press.