There are also many benefits laser gum surgery can offer over traditional methods like root scaling and planing, gum graft surgery, or gum flap surgery. Whether or not laser surgery is best in your situation will depend on the severity of your periodontal disease and other factors that your periodontist will be in the best position to judge.
How Does Laser Periodontal Treatment Work?
In periodontal laser treatment, a specially designed dental laser tool is used to remove badly infected or inflamed periodontal tissue. The laser can also be used to enter into the gums so as to access hard to reach bacterial pockets deep in the gums.
Root scaling may still be included in a laser periodontal surgery, once the laser has been used to access tooth roots under the gum line that are encrusted with plaque/tartar.
The wavelength and intensity of the laser beam used will have to be adjusted based on the procedure being performed, or even based on a particular part of a procedure. Using too powerful a laser can potentially harm one's gums, which is why a trained professional only must handle a periodontal laser. General dentists may not have the training and experience for this, so a periodontist should be sought out.
Post-treatment care will include brushing and using an antiseptic mouth rinse at home. You should also use an antimicrobial toothpaste. Be careful not to harm your still-sensitive gums and cause them to bleed through harsh brushing of the gums or flossing into the gum line. Definitely cease smoking or consuming high-sugar foods, at least until your gums have healed.
The healing process is relatively short, sometimes a matter of days. But you do need to take extra care during the "healing interim."
Benefits of Laser Periodontal Surgery
Laser periodontal surgery is especially a good option for extreme cases of gum disease, but it can be used in less severe cases as well.
Its main benefits include:
- There is no need for anesthetic or dental sedation, although these are still available if desired.
- The surgery is nearly painless, and there is only very limited swelling or bleeding, if any, in most cases.
- There is no need for dental sutures, as with gum flap surgery.
- The recovery time is shorter than with other forms of periodontal treatment.
- The precision of laser targeting means fuller removal of deteriorated gum tissue and minimal loss of healthy tissue.
Most dental insurance plans will cover periodontal treatment whether the laser or conventional techniques are employed. The total cost may be similar to other treatments, when all factors are taken into consideration.
To learn more about laser periodontal treatment and whether or not it is right for you, contact experienced periodontist Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik in Volusia and Flagler Counties, FL, for a free initial consultation.