First Christian Church

Laser Dentistry Helps Prevent And Conquer Gum Disease

Submitted by: Dr. Vito Clarizio

Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is a condition that a large percentage of Americans will deal with sometime in their lifetime. In fact the percentages of adults who have some form of gum disease have been reported to be 80% or higher. And because periodontal disease does not have any symptoms until it is already doing damage, the majority of people who have gum disease aren t even aware of it.

Once the problem is discovered, the solutions for stopping the damage have generally been techniques that require scraping or cutting and suturing of the gum tissue. That is, until laser surgery entered the picture. Now, by using Laser Periodontal Treatment (LPT) and specifically a procedure called LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure), gum disease at any stage can be successfully treated and prevented from recurring.

Since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the gum tissue that covers your jawbone and surrounds your teeth, if the infection is not treated and stopped from continuing to grow, the result can be loss of gum tissue, jawbone density and even teeth. In the past, the only solutions to gum disease were a process called scaling and root planing or gum surgery where incisions were made in order to get into the infected areas and then stitches were placed after the process was done. Now, however, a laser in the hands of a highly trained dentist can stop periodontal disease in its tracks and help prevent it from recurring because the laser is used to disturb the healthy tissue which creates re-growth and reconnection to the tooth and jawbone.

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Because the laser fiber that is used is so small (about the thickness of three hairs) it can easily be placed into small areas between your gum tissue and teeth, getting into areas that could be harder to treat with traditional methods. And by using a pulsing laser, it differentiates between diseased tissue and healthy tissue thus destroying the bacteria and infected areas and leaving the healthy tissue intact and even causing re-growth. Because of the reattachment of gum tissue to teeth, gum recession is reduced and the teeth roots are protected from being vulnerable to dental decay.

There are basically four steps to the LANAP process:

1.As a dentist who is certified to do the procedure, I use a probe to determine the depth of a pocket of infection.

2.I then use the laser to remove any diseased tissue while the heat from the laser kills any bacteria in the area.

3.Using an ultrasonic scaler, along with special hand instruments, any existing tartar will be removed from the root of the teeth that are surrounded by the infected gum tissue.

4.Before the pocket of infection is closed, the laser will be used again to ensure that all disease and bacteria have been removed.

The process is pain-free and extremely effective for removing the infection without destroying or injuring the healthy tissue surrounding the infected area. The results that are achieved are longer-lasting than traditional methods of treating periodontal disease. In fact, the majority of patients who receive laser treatments for gum disease still experience positive results even five years later.

While periodontal disease, once it occurs, can never be cured, it can be stopped in its tracks and prevented from further development with the use of laser gum treatment and the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure.

About the Author: After graduating as a DMD in 1988 Dr. Vito Clarizio started his own practice in Whitestone, NY and has been in private practice here for over 20 years. He is loved by both his patients and his staff. His core staff has been with him since the beginning of the practice.


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