An astonishing 64.7 million American adults have some form of gum disease, according to a 2012 research study titled Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010. That is nearly half of all American adults (47.2%), meaning one out of every two American adults suffer from either mild, moderate, or severe periodontitis. For years, gum disease has been treated with the same traditional surgery, but recently a new treatment method has emerged. The Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure, better known as the LANAP protocol, is a more efficient and effective way to treat periodontitis. Here is a selection of some of the most frequently asked questions about the LANAP protocol.
What is the LANAP Protocol?
The LANAP protocol is a treatment for gum disease that uses the PerioLase® MVP-7™ laser, allowing for a minimally invasive alternative to surgery. The LANAP protocol gives the potential to stimulate the growth of damaged parts of the gum tissue and mouth, including regrowing new periodontal ligament, new alveolar bone, and new cementum. Without these three components, complete oral functioning is not possible.
Who is a Candidate for LANAP Protocol?
Any individual with moderate to severe periodontal disease may be eligible for the LANAP protocol. This method is especially useful for patients who are fearful of surgery and don’t want to go “under the knife.”
What Should I Expect During the Procedure?
Before beginning the LANAP protocol, you will first be anesthetized with local anesthesia, where it will make the area numb. Then a tiny laser, no thicker than three human hairs, is inserted in between the gum and tooth, clearing away any infection or disease in the area. Once any damage is removed, the roots of the tooth will be scrubbed clean of any tartar and plaque. Afterwards the laser will be used again at a different setting to create a blood clot to seal the pocket. Once the procedure is complete the patient can drive themselves home or even return to work.
Can the LANAP Protocol Treat My Entire Mouth?
Yes it is possible for the LANAP protocol to treat the entire mouth in one session. In general, most patients like to split the procedure in two sessions based on chair time and comfort.
Will I Have Any Pain After the LANAP Protocol?
The LANAP protocol uses the PerioLase® MVP-7™ laser instead of a knife or scalpel, avoiding any kind of cutting into the gums and the need for stitches. This means that patients will have mild pain or discomfort after the operation. Typically over the counter pain medications for a few days afterwards is sufficient.
How Long Is the Recovery Process?
Since the LANAP protocol is minimally-invasive, there is little to no downtime after the procedure. Most patients can resume their everyday activities less than 24 hours after the LANAP protocol. However there are some dietary restrictions that we will discuss during your consultation.
Where Can I Find a Dentist Who Offers the LANAP Protocol?
Only dentists who have completed comprehensive LANAP training are certified to perform the LANAP protocol, and the dental practice must also have a PerioLase® MVP-7™ laser. If you would like to schedule a LANAP protocol consultation, please give us a call at (619) 543-0905.