LANAP Laser Gum Surgery

What is LANAP® Laser Gum Surgery?

LANAP laser gum surgery (which stands for Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure) is an FDA-cleared laser treatment for periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis). It’s also a method of laser gum contouring and laser gum removal.

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissues that hold your teeth in place. It happens for various reasons, but it often occurs in people who neglect flossing between their teeth. Plaque can build up and harden into tartar, and that can inflame the gums. 

Periodontal disease, on the other hand, is a progressive gum infection. It attacks the soft tissue of the gum and, if left untreated, it can destroy the bone that keeps your teeth in place.

lanap laser gum surgery

Both diseases can lead to detrimental dental issues and even tooth loss. But they are largely preventable and periodontal regeneration is possible.

What is Advanced Gum Disease?

Advanced periodontal disease (gum disease) is a common oral condition that most individuals are unaware they have until the disease progresses. If left untreated, periodontal disease can result in severe gum inflammation, permanent bone loss, and eventually tooth loss.

Periodontal disease treatment depends on a few factors, including the type and severity of the disease. LANAP gum surgery may be an effective option. Or, your periodontist may recommend traditional gum surgery. It is essential to speak with a specialist before determining the right option for you.

Who Benefits From LANAP Gum Surgery?

Patients with diseased or infected gums may benefit from LANAP periodontal and gum disease treatment. It’s considered a less-invasive alternative to periodontal surgery that can be both expensive and painful. 

Patients may choose LANAP laser gum treatment instead of conventional surgery, as it tends to be a less-intense option and, often, it’s even more successful than traditional surgery. Plus, the recovery time from dental lasers is much quicker than the recovery time from conventional surgical procedures.

Dental lasers are successful because the lasers can target the source of the gum’s inflammation without hurting or removing healthy soft tissue.

In fact, LANAP is the first and only research-proven method of laser treatment that achieves true regeneration, gum tissue attachment, and new bone growth. 

dental lasers

Both laboratory and clinical research back it. While the treatment itself doesn’t necessarily regrow the gums or bone, it does create the best possible conditions to speed up a patient’s own natural regenerative healing process to regrow the gums or bone on their own.

You may want to consider LANAP laser surgery if the following apply to you:

  • You have periodontal disease or gum disease
  • You’re fearful of having gum surgery
  • You’re worried about significant gum recession or tooth loss following conventional gum surgery
  • You’re nervous about after-treatment pain during the healing process following conventional gum surgery
  • You have other health conditions (research shows connections between gum and heart disease, diabetes, and more), and you don’t want to stop taking your medications for these (such as anticoagulants) in advance of your oral surgery

LANAP vs. Traditional Gum Surgery

Laser dentistry is nothing new in the world of oral hygiene. In 1990, Dr. Robert Gregg and former associate Dr. Delwin McCarthy developed the minimally-invasive periodontal therapy treatment in order to take the place of surgery that many patients dread. 

Ordinary gum surgery uses scalpels and sutures (or stitches) to cut away at diseased or infected gum tissue. While this can help to treat gum disease successfully, it can lead to esthetic and exposed root surfaces, hyper-sensitivity, and root caries (also known as decay).

Dr. Gregg and Dr. McCarthy, introduced the innovative laser treatment using pulsed neodymium yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd: YAG) 1064 nm wavelength laser (PerioLase MVP7). In short, it’s a bladeless laser alternative to traditional surgery. 

The benefits of LANAP over traditional gum surgery include: 

  • Less painful
  • Less invasive
  • Less time in treatment
  • Less potential damage to healthy tissue
  • Less postoperative sensitivity
  • Less recovery time in the healing process
  • Less gum recession after treatment

LANAP Procedure: How Does It Work?

The LANAP protocol is simple. The LANAP procedure is a pulsed neodymium yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd: YAG) 1064 nm wavelength laser (PerioLase MVP7). It has seven pulse durations that each interact with the gum tissue in different but targeted ways. The laser aims at diseased tissue without hurting healthy gum tissue. So you can heal your gums without risking the loss of more gum tissue or any teeth in the process.

While the laser is just the width of three human hairs, the laser energy effectively kills the bacteria causing gum disease and periodontal disease. The procedure can typically be done in just a few hours, too. So you’ll be in and out of the periodontist’s office in just one day.

Follow-Up Care for LANAP Surgery

Your periodontist will provide you with follow-up care after the procedure is complete. This typically includes:

  • Take prescribed pain medications (if necessary)
  • Do not floss for a month
  • Do not brush your teeth for one week
  • A liquid diet may be recommended for a few days
  • Be careful when chewing food

LANAP Laser Gum Surgery Cost

The cost of laser gum surgery can vary, though it’s usually comparable with conventional surgery. You should expect to pay between $1,000 to  $4,000 for LANAP treatment. In most cases, however, your health insurance provider should offer coverage for your laser surgery. 

The cost of LANAP surgery depends on:

  • The technology your dentist used to perform the procedure
  • Whether or not you have dental insurance
  • Your specific treatment plan
  • Where your dentist is located
  • Any additional add-ons

The average cost of full-mouth LANAP surgery is between $4,000 and $15,000.

Is LANAP Gum Surgery Worth it?

LANAP is FDA-approved and has been around for nearly three decades. Traditional gum surgery (flap surgery) has been around longer and is usually the go-to surgery. Both treatments are effective and praised by dental experts.

Some periodontists prefer LANAP over other gum surgery methods because some research shows that it is more effective. However, other research is still in favor of traditional gum surgery.

For example, one study found that "a free-running Nd:YAG laser demonstrated that LANAP outcomes are phenomenal and comparable to conventional periodontal surgery while facilitating regeneration."

Despite this, your periodontist can help determine which option is right for you. Gum surgery techniques will vary from case to case.

Resources

G., Carlos, et al. LANAP NYC, Dental Laser Surgery New York, Receding Gum Treatment, 10 Apr. 2015, www.laserperionyc.com/services/lanap/

“Gum (Periodontal) Disease Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment.” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/gum-disease/more-info#:~:text=Periodontal%20(gum)%20disease%20is%20an,on%20the%20teeth%20and%20harden

“How Much Does LANAP Cost?” Advanced Dental Arts NYC, 5 Feb. 2020, advanceddentalartsnyc.com/how-much-does-lanap-cost/. 

Jha, Amrita, et al. “LANAP, Periodontics and Beyond: A Review.” Journal of Lasers in Medical Sciences, Laser Application in Medical Sciences Research Center, 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6046393/

“LANAP - Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure.” Periodontist, www.drleonoff.com/laser-lanap.html

“LANAP®: Laser Treatment.” Millennium Dental Technologies, Inc., www.lanap.com/lanap/

“Patients: What to Expect.” Millennium Dental Technologies, Inc., www.lanap.com/patients/

Periodontitis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Feb. 2020.

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