What is the LANAP® protocol?
The LANAP protocol is a laser-based treatment for gum disease, that uses a very specific laser that targets the bacteria that causes gum disease. Fear of periodontal treatment is greatly reduced when patients find out no scalpel or sutures will be used. Patient friendly laser treatment gets patients to agree to the treatment they need and continue with the follow-up care that is prescribed. The LANAP protocol is the only surgical laser gum disease treatment that is FDA-cleared and supported with histological studies and clinical results.
Our office is one of the first periodontal offices in the area to offer the LANAP protocol for the treatment of gum disease (periodontitis).
How does it work?
A small amount of light energy from a laser is directed through a tiny fiber, which is gently placed between the gum and tooth. This light energy removes a tiny amount of diseased tissue and aids in reducing the bacteria associated with the disease. Tartar which is associated with inflamed and bleeding gums is removed from the root surface of the tooth using an ultrasonic scaler and instruments. After the area is thoroughly cleaned, the body can heal the area naturally.
Does it hurt?
The LANAP procedure is done under a local anesthetic of the areas being treated for the patient’s comfort. In this way we can precisely direct the laser for treatment. Post-procedure discomfort is typically minimal and of short duration.
The dramatic increase in comfort made the LANAP surgery procedure benificial to our patients. We do encourage patients to take care of the need now to reduce further damage to their gums, teeth and bone.
How long does it take?
Depending on the severity of the patient’s periodontal disease, treatment may be accomplished in one office visit or in multiple visits. The estimated treatment time is reviewed with the patient when their treatment plan is discussed. LANAP periodontal surgery of the patient's full mouth is usually completed in two 2-hour visits.
Does this treatment cost more than traditional gum surgery?
There are many factors which may affect the cost, such as the severity of the periodontal disease, and how many teeth are involved. Patients should discuss their payment options and costs with the periodontal office personnel.
What to Expect: The First Few Days
You may experience mild aching, throbbing, and soreness of the treated areas for the first couple days—this can be helped with mild pain medications. The tissue around the teeth may appear discolored. Your bite may feel slightly different, but the teeth will adapt. You cannot brush or floss for the first 10 days after treatment, and you will need to follow a liquid or mushy diet. Smoking decreases results for all gum treatments, including LANAP.
What to Expect: Follow-up Care
As the gums heal, the teeth will shift, and your bite will need to be adjusted several times over the coming months. Splints may be fabricated to stabilize and immobilize the teeth. It is important that you wear these splints as instructed to promote healing. Expect to have your teeth professionally cleaned every three months for at least the first year, and then as recommended by your periodontist.
Who is a candidate for LANAP laser surgery?
Patients with moderate-to-severe gum disease can especially benefit from the LANAP protocol. The LANAP protocol is also an excellent treatment option for patients who are fearful of conventional scalpel surgery and patients taking certain medications, such as blood thinners. With the LANAP protocol, patients do not have to stop taking any medications.