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San Diego, CA 92122
(858) 453-8520

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LANAP in San Diego - ND YAG

Dr. Firtel has been using a specialized dental laser to perform certain types of gum surgery since 2004. When an individual has red and swollen gums, bleed gums, bad breath, bone loss, and possibly tooth mobility, the cause is most likely some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease starts out as Gingivitis, however, left untreated, it can easily progress into a more severe form of the disease called Periodontitis. In the case of Periodontitis, the gums separate from the tooth and bone forming a deep pocket, ultimately resulting in tooth loss and destruction of bone. In recent years, there have been many medical studies which suggest that inflammation and infection in the oral cavity can increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis and low birth weight in pregnancies, to name only a few.

The name of the laser surgery used to treat periodontal disease is Laser Periodontal Therapy™ (LPT) or Laser Assisted New Attachment Periodontal Therapy™ (LANAP). The goal of any type of gum disease periodontal surgery is to get rid of the infection and to decrease the depth of the pocket. Unlike the traditional type of gum surgery where diseased and infected tissue is removed with a blade and then the remaining gums are sutured, with LPT or LANAP, the diseased and infected tissues are lased with the laser, resulting in the denaturing and removal of the infected tissue cells and bacteria. Different from regular gum surgery, no tissue is cut away and the tissue height around the tooth remains the same after performing LPT.

The Nd:Yag soft tissue dental laser (Periolase® created by Millenium Dental Technologies ) was designed and developed specifically for this type of procedure. The wavelength of light emitted by the laser is able to differentiate between different tissue types, selecting the diseased, unhealthy, and infected tissue cells over the healthy ones. Also, because the laser fiber is ultra-thin, it is able to easily pass between the tissue and tooth towards the bottom of the periodontal pocket.

Advantages of LPT over traditional gum surgery are:

  • no cutting or sewing
  • virtually no post-op discomfort with the patient returning to their normal daily routine almost immediately
  • can eat a soft diet on the treated side of the mouth and then eat normally 1 week after the procedure
  • 24 hour recovery period as compared to a 2-4 week recovery period including additional appointments for suture removal

Please watch the video clips showing the LPT™ procedure.