With its profound effect on oral and systemic health, treatment of periodontal disease is seen as an essential part of holistic dental care. Treatment is usually limited to removal of disease-causing factors, such as calculus and plaque as well as diseased portions of the gum, which may also lead to periodontal defects. Periodontal therapy may be surgical, where portions of the gingivae
may need to be sectioned to eliminate diseased excess tissue, causing pocketing and bone loss. This procedure is, however, usually traumatic, taking time to heal, and may alter the smile line of the individual, may result in loss of additional bone, and possibly result in what is called dark triangle syndrome.
A better approach to periodontal treatment is with the use of lasers. Two of the main laser-based treatment protocols are LANAP and REPaiR. Both are effective but for different reasons depending on the needs of the individual patient.
LANAP, which stands for Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure, uses a fine laser beam to selectively remove diseased tissue as well as to destroy pathogenic bacteria in the periodontium. This method is known to encourage regeneration of healthy tissue rather than to focus solely on resection of diseased tissue. The process involves exposure of deep periodontal pockets to which the laser beam is applied. No cutting or suturing is required, and the complete procedure takes less time than conventional surgical periodontal therapy. Healing and recovery times are therefore quicker, and the results are comparatively more aesthetic. However, it should be noted, this is a sterilization-type procedure and doesn’t eliminate the “true” causes of the condition but instead places it in a state of remission.
REPaiR, which refers to Regenerative Er,Cr:YSGG Periodontitis Regimen, is a minimally invasive treatment regimen for periodontal treatment. The WaterLase iPlus wavelength aspect, for example, combines a high-energy wavelength laser beam with a ne spray of water to cut soft tissue as well as bone and therefore removes the actual cause of the condition. This is done with less post-op complications compared to conventional surgical methods. Note, when cutting soft tissue, hemostasis of severed blood vessels is achieved during the procedure, allowing for a better field of vision for operation. The key, however, is the true removal of the cause, including the sterilization of the diseased tissue.
The diversity of its application allows for a wide variety of treatment options, such as treatment of selective deep pockets in specific areas of the oral cavity or treatment of the entire oral cavity if that is the treatment plan required. Again, the patented Radial Firing Perio Tip, a component of REPaiR, is effective in the treatment of moderate to advanced periodontitis due to its unique design, which allows for efficient irradiation in deep pockets. It’s worth noting that LANAP has no radial ring abilities.
Keep in mind, one can perform both procedures, the first being LANAP, followed up by REPaiR, if the LANAP is at first ineffective. In order to determine effectiveness, a six-week re-evaluation is done. If it’s discovered that pockets and diseased tissue still remain, REPaiR is then used as a follow-up treatment.
Laser-based therapy provides a better alternative to conventional surgical therapy. REPaiR, with its versatility, allows for various periodontal diseases to be treated, with optimal patient satisfaction.
For preexisting patients, treatment sequences are determined during their usual hygiene visits. For new patients, having been told surgery is needed, Golden Dental Wellness Center, in Manhasset, schedules a complimentary appointment to discuss treatment options.
Source: Linda J. Golden, DDS, of Golden Dental Wellness Center (444 Community Dr., Ste. 204, Manhasset). For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 516-627- 8400. To see a YouTube video illustrating the usage of LANAP, visit YouTube.com/watch?v=8xgFphyUFM0. For a brochure on REPaiR, visit Biolase.com/Documents/REPaiR_brochure_ FINAL_112114.pdf.