Periodontal disease is a serious condition that affects many dental patients. The inflammation and infection of the gums can cause bad breath, irritation, inflammation, tooth loss, bleeding, and other conditions. People that fight periodontal disease may require surgical intervention in order to restore their gums and make them healthy again.


Traditionally, patients would undergo gum surgery. This surgery usually requires a scalpel and sutures. Periodontists cut away excess gum tissue to reduce pocket depth and remove damaged tissue. This removal often requires the placement of skin grafts in order to restore proper gum height and protect the roots of the teeth. Due to the invasive nature of this procedure, modern patients often choose LANAP or laser surgery to rejuvenate their gums.


LANAP Surgery

Laser-assisted new attachment procedure or LANAP is a medical procedure that periodontists use to restore your gums. This alternative is minimally invasive and does not require any incisions or stitching to the gums. This also means that patients experience less pain and discomfort than the traditional approach. Today’s lasers can recognize the difference between healthy and diseased gums. This technology helps to reduce the amount of tissue that must be removed and allows your healthy gums to continue to thrive.


Key Differences Between LANAP and Traditional Gum Surgery

One of the biggest differences between the two approaches has to do with your comfort. LANAP offers reduced discomfort and faster healing times due to the maintenance of healthy tissue, reduction in the amount of tissue removed, and the lack of incisions and sutures. LANAP patients often return to work the same day of their procedure, something that is rare in the traditional approach.


Traditional surgery requires the gums to be cut down and then sutured. This reduces the pocket depth but also changes the appearance of your gum line. In many instances, the reduction in gum height also requires a skin graft to be placed. The skin graft helps to protect the roots of the teeth and maintain proper oral health.


LANAP doesn’t require any cutting. This helps maintain the original gum line and doesn’t create the need for skin grafts. This also doesn’t expose the underlying tooth to potential infection from bacteria while the graft is not in place.


Many patients also state that their pain level is greatly reduced with the LANAP approach. Traditional approaches typically include prescription pain medication to help reduce post-operative pain. The medication is also accompanied by considerable healing and downtime. Many patients cannot return to their routine work until the pain has subsided. LANAP patients can return to their jobs almost immediately.


The recession caused by traditional surgery is considerably more serious. General measurements are between two and four millimeters, but in extreme periodontal cases, this can be 15 millimeters. Due to the targeted nature of LANAP, it can help to maintain as much of the gum line as possible. LANAP only targets and removes diseased tissue, so as much of the healthy gum line remains in place as possible.


The LANAP approach also offers improvements in the long-term results. Due to the improved technology offered by laser therapies, the gums heal more quickly and more fully. This helps to improve the gums overall health and coverage on the teeth. This restores a patient’s overall oral health and helps to reduce the effects of periodontal disease over time.

The LANAP procedure is a great option for many patients that are fighting periodontal disease. If you are considering LANAP, contact T. Merrell Williams, DMD, MS today at 813-517-0100.