Over 80% of US adults suffer from some degree of gum disease, making it one of the most common diseases in America. Yet, only 60% know they have it. And worse yet, only 3% of adults with moderate to severe levels of gum disease will accept treatment – mostly due to fear. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to receding gums, loss of bone, and ultimately, tooth loss.
However, there is an excellent option for patients who are fearful of conventional scalpel surgery – the LANAP® protocol. A minimally invasive laser treatment that can often reverse gum disease, the LANAP protocol is the only treatment scientifically and clinically proven to regenerate both soft tissue and bone.
Here are the top 10 LANAP protocol frequently asked questions (and answers).
What is the LANAP protocol?
The LANAP protocol is a minimally invasive gum disease treatment that uses a specific dental laser, the PerioLase® MVP-7™. The LANAP protocol is the first and only protocol to receive FDA clearance for True Regeneration, which is re-growing new cementum, new periodontal ligament, and new alveolar bone. These three components are needed for full oral function. The LANAP protocol has been in widespread use by the dental community for many years.
What are the benefits of the LANAP protocol for the treatment of gum disease?
- Less post-operative pain — Using the PerioLase MVP-7 dental laser, the LANAP protocol helps avoid cutting and stitching of the gums. As a result, patients usually have minimal post-operative discomfort.
- Quicker recovery time — Most patients are able to return to their regular daily activities immediately following the procedure, which generally requires less than a 24-hour recovery period. Following traditional scalpel and suture surgery, recovery can take two to four weeks, during which patients can experience considerable pain and swelling.
- Healthy gums with minimal recession — When your gums are cut, the tissue shrinks and can show more of your tooth root. Because the LANAP protocol does not cut your gums, the tissue stays intact.
- Regeneration without foreign materials — Because the PerioLase laser stimulates your body’s own healing response, your LANAP dentist doesn’t have to add foreign ‘growth factors.’
Who is a candidate for LANAP laser surgery?
Patients with moderate-to-severe gum disease can especially benefit from the LANAP protocol. The LANAP protocol is also an excellent treatment option for patients who are fearful of conventional scalpel surgery.
Do I have to stop taking my medication for LANAP laser surgery?
Because of the unique properties of the PerioLase laser wavelength, patients on blood thinners or with aspirin regimens do not have to stop taking any medications.
What should I expect during LANAP treatment?
The LANAP protocol is typically performed in a dentist’s office under local anesthesia. Prior to the procedure, the dentist does a periodontal charting and takes X-rays to make a proper diagnosis and determine the extent of the disease. A tiny laser fiber (about the thickness of three human hairs) is inserted between the tooth and the gum, and the infection and disease are cleared away without cutting the gums. The tooth roots are then thoroughly cleaned of tartar and plaque, and the laser is used again with a different setting to create a stable, firm fibrin blood clot to seal the pocket. The dentist treats one half of the patient’s mouth at each session, and most patients are able to drive themselves back to work or home following the procedure.
What about patient discomfort and recovery versus conventional surgery?
Some of the primary benefits of LANAP laser surgery, compared to traditional cut-and-sew surgery, are:
- Less pain
- Less bleeding
- Less sensitivity
- Less gum loss
- Less swelling
- Very little downtime after treatment
- Less post-op infections
- Promotes regeneration of supporting gum tissues
- Healing is perceived to be faster and more comfortable than conventional surgery
Who can perform the LANAP protocol to treat patients with gum disease?
Only LANAP-trained dentists can perform the LANAP protocol.
What training does my LANAP-trained doctor have?
All dentists certified to perform the technique are required to complete comprehensive, clinical, hands-on, dentist-to-dentist training over the course of a year at the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry (IALD). This in-depth training ensures that doctors are skilled to perform the LANAP protocol. Laser BootCamp represents the first three days of the five-day training curriculum. At the conclusion of all five days of training, the clinician is awarded a LANAP Proficiency certificate.
Can any laser be used for the LANAP protocol?
Only the PerioLase MVP-7 is designed to support the parameters of the LANAP protocol. If your dentist does not have the PerioLase MVP-7, then your dentist can not perform LANAP surgery. Different lasers in dentistry interact with your body differently. Some lasers can cut bone, but only the PerioLase MVP-7 can be used for the LANAP protocol.
Will insurance companies cover the LANAP protocol?
Periodontal disease treatment is covered by most insurance carriers, but varies by carrier and clinician. Speak with your doctor about your coverage plan.