Did you know that periodontitis (gum disease) is responsible for 90 percent of all tooth loss? This serious gum and bone disease is extremely common, affecting more than 50 million Americans, yet it is 100 percent preventable. If you have developed gum disease, effective periodontal treatment is available at our Marin County, CA-area dental practice. We can restore your oral health and help you maintain a healthy smile. Using the PerioLase® system, we can help patients achieve good periodontal health without the need for invasive surgery. To learn more, contact us today.
What Causes Gum Disease
Periodontitis is a progressive disease that often begins without any noticeable symptoms. When normal gums are healthy, they are firm and pink. Trouble begins when plaque starts building up along and under the gum line. If this plaque is not removed, the bacteria can infect the gums and cause gingivitis.
Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, causes gum tissue to become inflamed and bleed easily. At this stage, professional cleaning and good home care are usually enough to restore the gums to health. If gingivitis is not resolved, however, high levels of bacteria will initiate the release of tissue-destroying enzymes. This stage of the condition is known as periodontitis, in which the gums start to pull away from the teeth and form pockets. The pockets allow bacteria to spread beneath the gum line and start breaking down the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place.
Treatments for Periodontal Disease
When gum disease is detected early, non-surgical deep cleaning, called root scaling and planing, may treat gum disease. With this treatment, the dental hygienist removes plaque and hardened deposits from above and below the gum line, and smooths the roots of the teeth, minimizing the risk of future accumulation. Antimicrobial treatments may also be administered. Depending on the progression of gum disease, additional surgical treatment may be required.
Traditional Surgery vs. Laser Surgery
Surgery can remove damaged bone and tissue so the body can regenerate healthy tissue. With traditional surgery, the dentist or periodontist lifts the gums to clean out the pockets, then sutures them back into place to fit tightly around the tooth. Because it requires incisions and sutures, traditional treatment is considered invasive, and it typically involves four surgeries.
Our office uses the newest alternative to traditional surgery: the PerioLase Nd:YAG laser This superior alternative to traditional gum surgery uses a focused beam of light to clear infection, gum pockets, and bone disease. It requires no incisions or sutures. This state-of-the-art treatment is called Laser Assisted New Attachment Protocol (LANAP®). Advantages of this treatment include:
- One three-hour appointment instead of several visits for surgery
- No incisions or sutures
- Minimal swelling and bleeding
- Minimal discomfort
- Faster healing
- Better, longer-lasting results
- Safe for patients with diabetes and hemophilia
- Safe for patients taking medications such as aspirin or Plavix
The recovery for PerioLase® treatment is less than 24 hours, compared with a two- to four-week recovery period with bladed surgery. Many patients can go right back to work after their treatment.
To learn more about LANAP® treatment, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.