Are You a Candidate for LANAP?
Gingivitis and periodontal disease happen when bacteria in the mouth sparks an inflammatory reaction in the gum tissue. Gum inflammation causes the gums to pull away from your teeth and form gingival pockets. Over time, infections can run so deep that the bacteria can start to attack the connective tissue holding your teeth in place, seep into your bloodstream, and even contribute to system-wide inflammation.
Traditional surgery for periodontal disease included folding back gum tissue to clean out these gingival pockets and smooth the surface of the teeth. Unfortunately, traditional gum surgery was time-consuming, caused a lot of bleeding, and required a lengthy recovery time. Fortunately, there is an alternative. LANAP is a new, non-invasive treatment that effectively targets diseased tissue in the gingival pocket and promotes healing.
What is LANAP?
LANAP, which stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, uses laser light to target diseased tissue while leaving healthy tissue intact. During LANAP, Dr. Scharf inserts a small periodontal laser probe into the gingival pocket and moves it around the tooth to sanitize the area and promote healing. LANAP is fast, effective, and involves a very simple recovery.
Are You a Candidate for LANAP?
Since LANAP in Long Island is minimally invasive, more patients are candidates for LANAP than for traditional pocket reduction surgery, including patients who might be diabetic or pregnant. Candidates for LANAP include anyone who has the symptoms of serious gum disease, including excessive gum bleeding, loose gums, red or swollen gums, or pain while brushing. To determine your candidacy for LANAP, Dr. Scharf will start by conducting a thorough periodontal exam to check the depth of your gingival pockets. Here are the stages of gum disease, how the teeth and gums might look and feel, and when you are considered a good candidate for LANAP.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Healthy Teeth and Gums
Healthy teeth are secure in their sockets, don’t hurt, and are held in place with gum tissue that is springy, pink, and resilient. Healthy teeth can have gingival pockets between 0-3mm deep, as long as the gum tissue doesn’t bleed easily.
Patients with gingivitis often have bad breath, reddened gums, and typically experience bleeding while flossing. Patients with gingivitis have gingival pocket depths of between 1-4mm that bleed during flossing, brushing, or probing. Fortunately, non-surgical techniques, such as focusing on oral hygiene and using an oral antibacterial mouthwash, can reverse gingivitis and return a patient back to normal dental health.
Early Periodontal Disease
When gingivitis goes unchecked, it can turn into periodontal disease. Patients with early periodontal disease have gingival probing depths of at least 5mm. At this stage, LANAP is an effective treatment and can help the gum tissue to heal.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
Moderate periodontal disease is marked by probing depths of between 6-7 millimeters, oozing gums, loosening teeth, gum recession, dental shifting, and bad breath. Fortunately, LANAP can help to stop periodontal disease in its tracks before the teeth fall out or infections start to affect the patient’s overall health.
Advanced Periodontal Disease
Believe it or not, LANAP can even be used to help patients with advanced periodontal disease. When patients are suffering from advanced periodontal disease, they often have missing teeth, bone loss, pain while chewing, severely bad breath, and bacteria that readily enters the blood stream. By combining advanced periodontal treatments such as LANAP, bone grafting , dental implants , and other restorative procedures, Dr. Scharf can help you to return to dental health and enjoy a smile that you can be proud of.
For more information about LANAP and to find out whether or not the procedure is right for you, contact us to schedule an appointment with Long Island periodontist Dr. Scharf today!