LANAP® Procedure: Traditional vs. Laser Gum Surgery

Good oral health is the key to a healthy body. Although most people strive for a bright, white smile, they neglect gum health. Almost half of American adults have periodontal disease but many don’t seek treatment for their condition. Untreated gum disease can cause teeth loss, heart disease, and cancer among many other health complications.

Fortunately, there are effective dental procedures that can successfully treat gum disease. The two most effective treatments for moderate-to-severe periodontal disease are traditional gum surgery and the more technologically advanced LANAP® procedure. Are you wondering which procedure is best for your periodontal needs?

In this post, Taly Dental Specialists will explain the difference between traditional vs. LANAP® laser surgery to help you make an informed decision:

Traditional Gum Surgery

Before we delve into the LANAP® procedure, let us walk you through how traditional gum surgery works. Traditional gum surgery is an invasive procedure that cuts away infected tissue to restore oral health. At Taly Dental, we perform traditional gum surgery only when all other procedures have failed to stop the progression of periodontal disease. Patients will be sedated during the procedure to minimize discomfort.

During the procedure, Taly’s specialists will use a scalpel to peel away gum tissue and gain access into periodontal pockets ⏤ an opening between the teeth and gum line that harbors bacteria. Upon gaining visibility, the scalpel is used to scrape the pocket of bacteria and cut diseased gum tissue to reduce pocket depth. The gums are then sutured, covered with a dressing, and given time to heal.

While some advanced cases necessitate traditional surgery, the LANAP® procedure is ideal for most patients with periodontal disease.

LANAP® Laser Gum Surgery

LANAP® is a minimally invasive, laser surgical procedure that is FDA-approved for treating periodontal disease. The LANAP® laser was designed to only target black pigment, which is the color of the bacteria that causes gum disease. As a result, LANAP® selectively destroys bacteria and infected tissue, leaving healthy periodontal tissues unharmed. This is in contrast to traditional surgery, which removes both diseased and healthy tissue with a scalpel.

The LANAP® procedure is the most advanced treatment currently available for relieving periodontal disease. During the procedure, Taly’s LANAP-certified periodontists gently place the laser’s tip above the gum pocket. The laser kills bacteria and diseased tissue and also stimulates the gum tissue to reattach to teeth roots. This eliminates the need for cutting and suturing, making LANAP® the highest standard of care for treating periodontal disease.

LANAP® vs. Traditional Gum Surgery

Being a modern technology, the LANAP® procedure provides several advantages over traditional gum surgery. Using a smart laser instead of previous methods improves patient experience and delivers better treatment results. Below, we’ll explain why the LANAP® laser is superior to traditional gum surgery:

Less Discomfort

Traditional surgery requires cutting, scraping, and sewing back gum tissues, causing a lot of discomfort and bleeding. Although you’ll be sedated during the procedure, you must take pain medication for at least two weeks following the treatment to relieve discomfort. 

LANAP®, on the other hand, is a relatively painless procedure with minimal bleeding because there is no cutting or scraping involved in the treatment. Patients rarely need pain medication following the LANAP® procedure.

Quicker Recovery Time

The postoperative recovery period varies significantly between these two procedures. LANAP® is much less invasive than traditional surgery, resulting in a quicker healing period. It can take two to four weeks to recover from traditional gum surgery. Whereas with the LANAP® laser procedure, you can return to a normal routine within 24 hours of treatment.

Minimal Gum Recession

Traditional surgery cuts away healthy and diseased gum tissue to decrease pocket depth. This process causes gum recession and aesthetic issues following surgery. The LANAP® procedure is more selective and only destroys infected tissue, leading to minimal gum recession and no disfigurement following treatment.

No Root Sensitivity

Cutting away gum tissue can expose teeth roots, making your teeth very sensitive after traditional gum surgery. The increased sensitivity can make it painful to clean teeth and eat hot or cold foods. With no cutting and minimal tissue loss, you will not experience hypersensitive teeth following the LANAP® procedure.

Better Long-Term Results

LANAP® is more effective at treating periodontal disease vs. its traditional counterpart. In a study published by Decisions in Dentistry, more than 58 percent of periodontists reported better long-term results with the LANAP® procedure compared to traditional gum surgery.

Along with eliminating diseased tissue, LANAP® also promotes tissue reattachment and regeneration. The LANAP® laser stimulates the formation of blood clots, which have fibers that help gum pockets reattach to tooth roots. The laser also stimulates jawbone regeneration, helping to save teeth that otherwise should be extracted.

Consult With Taly’s LANAP-Certified Periodontists

LANAP® is a modern dental technology that offers several advantages over traditional gum surgery. Although an old-fashioned procedure, traditional gum surgery is still necessary for stubborn cases of periodontal disease. If you’re considering gum surgery, consult with a periodontist to learn which procedure is most effective for your condition.

If you live in San Diego, CA, you can schedule an appointment with Taly Dental’s expert periodontists to find the best treatment option for your needs. Contact us at (619) 516-0018 to book an appointment with a dental specialist and learn if you’re a good candidate for the LANAP® procedure.

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