The newsLINK Group - What is Laser Periodontal Therapy

Editorial Library Category: General Business | Dental | Periodontist – Gum Disease Topics: Laser Periodontal Therapy Title: What is Laser Periodontal Therapy? Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Gingivitis occurs when you develop bacteria in the plaque on your teeth. The bacteria cause your gums to become red and swollen. You may also notice that when you brush your teeth, the gums bleed. Editorial: What is Laser Periodontal Therapy? 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Periodontal Disease Gingivitis occurs when you develop bacteria in the plaque on your teeth. The bacteria cause your gums to become red and swollen. You may also notice that when you brush your teeth, your gums bleed. If you don’t treat gingivitis early, it can develop into something called periodontal disease, or periodontitis. Periodontal disease consists of more than just irritated gum. At this point, your gums are actually infected. If you have a serious case of periodontal disease, the skin in your mouth pulls away from the roots of your teeth as if to protect itself from contact with the irritating tartar (which is just plaque that hasn’t been removed and has gotten hard instead). Unfortunately, the pulling away forms something called gum pockets that fill up with bacteria around the tartar. The gum pockets are located below the gum line next to the roots of your teeth, and the skin that forms these pockets is infected. You should know that someone who has gingivitis may develop gum pockets as the disease progresses, but the gum pockets are going to be less than 5 mm. If you have periodontal disease, the gum pockets are larger and the disease is categorized into Class II, III, or IV, depending on the severity of your problem. The location of the gum pockets means two things: As the gum pockets get bigger, you could lose one or more teeth. The teeth no longer have the support of your gums because the gums have pulled away. Even worse, the fight between the bacteria and your immune system releases destructive toxins. These toxins break down the bonds that keep your teeth secure. Removing the tartar from your teeth and the infected skin from the gum pockets is absolutely essential if you are to heal. Laser Periodontal Therapy Laser Periodontal Therapy, or PerioLaser, consists of a tiny laser applied through an equally tiny fiber inside the gum pocket. The dentist uses it to gently remove the smallest amount necessary of infected skin, while using scaling and small instruments to remove the tartar. PerioLaser offers several advantages over older techniques: If your dentist were to use traditional means for removing the infection and the tartar, you would probably have about four sessions of an hour each while the dentist cut away the infection, stitched up the resulting holes with stitches, and cleaned the tartar off your teeth. Later, you would need to have the sutures removed and have the dentist check on your recovery. With PerioLaser, the process usually takes half as many sessions, depending on the severity of your case, and you don’t need sutures because the dentist won’t be cutting your gums. PerioLaser is a less-invasive alternative to traditional gum surgery, but it isn’t more expensive. Also, recovery takes about 24 hours instead of the two to four weeks you would need otherwise. People who are also dealing with serious chronic illness such as diabetes, HIV, or hemophilia can all have PerioLaser treatments. If you are taking Coumadin, Cyclosporin, or similar medications, PerioLaser is safe for you, too. The effects are long-lasting, too: 98% of all patients treated with the laser are still stable after five years. Of those treated by older methods, only 5% are still stable after that same period. You are eligible for Laser Periodontal Therapy if your periodontal disease is Class II or more. As with any medical or dental care you receive, however, if you are lucky enough to have insurance then you should check with your insurance company in advance to find out what the coverage is. In addition, you should know that your dentist wants you to recover from this serious disease and wants you to be able to