Laser assisted Periodontal Therapy

                Periodontal disease is very common in the United States. It affects people of all ages but is generally seen in adults over 30 years of age. It can be attributed to a variety of causes, however, poor oral hygiene is generally the main reason. In the past, if someone had periodontal disease, they would need to see a specialist and have gum surgery. While this is still the case in some instances, new technology has allowed general dentists to serve their patients with periodontal disease. Using a laser, the dentist or hygienist can destroy the bacteria that cause the disease and heal the gums to their original state. Jackson Family Dentistry uses laser therapy on all of our periodontal patients and we have seen a big increase in the effectiveness for treating this disease.

If you are unsure of what periodontal disease is, it is caused by a build-up of plaque. If oral hygiene slips or you start to skip your dental cleaning visits then plaque will continue to build-up. Due to its stickiness plaque is hard to get rid of just by brushing alone. As the plaque continues to build it eventually goes below the gum line. At this point, the gums will be inflamed and start to bleed. This is an early warning sign of periodontal disease and if left untreated it will cause the recession of gums and the teeth will then become lose and start to fall out. In the past, oral surgery was necessary and the gums would be cut back so the hygienist could see the bacteria, clean it up and then the gums would be sutured back into place. Obviously, this is quite the ordeal and requires several weeks for the gums to heal.

Dental lasers were first invented in the 1960’s but were very slow to become a mainstay. Even today, not every dental office uses them, and in order to do so, the dentist or hygienist must be laser certified. At Jackson Family Dentistry, we use laser assisted periodontal therapy on almost all of our cases, with only a few requiring gum surgery. The laser uses a fiber that is as small as three human hairs and it is inserted into the periodontal pocket of the infected gum, as shown in the picture below.
The laser is so precise that only the bacteria and dead tissue is targeted. This allows for fresh tissue to grow and form around the tooth again. The biggest advantage to using a laser, as opposed to surgery, is there is no recovery time and our patients are able to go back to their normal lives right away. Also, general anesthetic is not needed and there is less pain and swelling then with traditional surgery.

If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, ask your dental professional if they have laser assisted gum therapy. Again, not all periodontal treatments are candidates for laser therapy, however, if you are a candidate, laser therapy is the least evasive procedure for you. If you would like to learn more about periodontal disease and how laser therapy can help you, visit our website or give us a call. We will be more than happy to discuss with you how laser therapy can make your periodontal disease a little more manageable for you. 


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