Who is a candidate for laser gum treatment?
Almost everyone who has periodontal disease, swollen gingiva, or soft tissue lesions that require biopsies. The laser treatment is especially good for treating very advanced cases that are almost beyond conventional surgical treatment because the laser treatment can often regenerate bone and soft tissue. It’s estimated that over 100 million American adults have moderate to severe periodontal disease. Of these, only 3-4 percent receive conventional treatment.
How is periodontal disease normally treated nationwide?
The traditional treatment is to do deep scaling and root planning, to use blades to cut the tissue and burs to grind the bone, and finally to suture the area.
What about patient discomfort, sensitivity, pain, and downtime?
In comparison with traditional blade and suture treatment, primary patient benefits of laser treatment include much less pain, sensitivity, recession, and swelling, as well as very little downtime after treatment. Generally, patients can go back to work the same day if not sedated.
Does the new laser technique really regenerate soft tissue and bone?
Yes, that’s what’s remarkable about this technique. In an eight-year retrospective study, bone density profiles were evaluated, and 100 percent of the areas had increases in bone density and many had increases in bone quantity. In addition, a human histology study by Dr. Ray Yukna, Professor, Advanced Periodontal Therapies at the University of Colorado, showed full regeneration in two cases and new attachment with new cementum in the other four cases.
How can this treatment save teeth that could not be save before?
The laser reduces the bacteria and bio-stimulates the cells to help produce new attachment and bone.
What happens to patients who go untreated for moderate to severe periodontal disease because of fear of conventional treatment?
This is a huge concern since only about three percent of the almost 100 million Americans who have moderate to severe periodontal disease are getting treatment. The bottom line is that they will suffer from painful abscesses and multiple extractions. Ultimately, they may lose all their teeth (approximately 40 million Americans are edentulous). They will lose their natural smile and are only able to chew about 20 percent as efficiently as with their natural teeth. Furthermore, the infection could get into the bloodstream, causing an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and other serious systemic diseases. The infectious bacteria the cause periodontal disease are also often transmitted to spouses, significant others, and family members. Much of this can be avoided by reducing patient fear with laser treatment.