LANAP® in Miami with Dr. Lamas

Recognizing, treating and then preventing the recurrence of gum disease can go a long way in maintaining your overall health. While periodontists have been using a variety of traditional methods to treat gum disease, gum disease can now be addressed with the revolutionary Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure® (LANAP®) protocol. This innovative procedure makes gum disease treatment and recovery much quicker, less painful, safer and more successful than ever before.

Treating Gum Disease Using the LANAP® Protocol at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

Understanding Periodontal Disease

According to a survey published in the July 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, Periodontitis in U.S. Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2014, 42 percent of the adult population in the United States, who are at least 30 years of age or older, have some form of periodontitis. And nearly 8 percent of these individuals have a severe form of the disease.

Gum disease, which is also referred to as periodontal disease, is the medical term that refers to an infection of the tissues and bone responsible for holding the teeth in place. During the early stage of gum disease (i.e., gingivitis), the bacteria only affect the gingival tissue (i.e., gums); however, if treatment is not sought, gingivitis can progress to the next, more severe stage of gum disease, periodontitis.

Once this more severe form of the disease develops, the alveolar bone and periodontal ligaments are under attack. As the bone that holds the teeth in place is attacked and the periodontal ligaments that provide support for the teeth weaken, without treatment, tooth loss is imminent.

Recognizing Gum Disease

If gum disease is present, knowing how to spot the disease is essential; therefore, here are several symptoms that you should be looking out for.

Symptoms of periodontal disease include:

  • Bleeding gums after flossing and/or bushing.
  • Teeth that suddenly feel sensitive.
  • persistent bad breath.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Pain upon chewing.
  • Receding gums.
  • Painful gums that are tender and appear inflamed.
  • Pain while brushing.

Periodontal disease is actually a bacterial infection. The damage done during the early stage of gum disease can usually be repaired: Unfortunately, the damage done to the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone during the later stages of the disease is permanent. The severity of the symptoms is a good indication as to how advanced an individual’s periodontal disease has become.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Although most cases of gum disease result from poor oral hygiene, there are other reasons that periodontal diseases develop.

Causes other than poor oral hygiene that are associated with the development of gum disease include:

  • Smoking.
  • Vitamin deficiencies.
  • Genetic susceptibility.
  • Certain medications.
  • Systemic conditions (e.g., osteoporosis, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, leukemia).

How Does Poor Oral Hygiene Cause Gum Disease?

Poor oral hygiene practices typically lead to a buildup of dental plaque and tartar. Dental plaque is a sticky film that consists of bacteria and sugars. This plaque is constantly developing on the teeth: If this film is not removed through the act of brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar (i.e., calculus).

Once plaque becomes tartar, only a dental professional can remove it. If this tartar and plaque are allowed to accumulate, the development of gingivitis is likely. The bacteria residing in the plaque cause the gingival tissue to become red and inflamed. Once gingivitis develops, if treatment is not sought, it may progress to the more severe form of gum disease, periodontitis.

For most patients, periodontal disease can be prevented if they follow a proper oral hygiene regimen and have their teeth cleaned professionally, biannually.

How Can Periodontal Disease Lead to Serious Health Problems?

While seeking treatment for gum disease is vital to maintaining your oral health, studies indicate that your oral health can affect your physical health; therefore, a healthy mouth is also essential to maintaining your overall physical health.

Here is how gum disease causes serious health problems: As the plaque builds, the number of bacteria increase and tartar continues forming. This tartar frequently forms beneath the gum line, which irritates the gingival tissue, causing it to become inflamed. Due to this inflammation, the gums bleed easily while brushing and flossing. This bleeding means there is now an opening from the mouth into the bloodstream, which provides the bacteria a route to access other parts of the body, including the vital organs.

Scientific evidence shows that there is a direct link between periodontal disease and several major health issues, including:

  • Diabetes.
  • Stroke.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Atherosclerosis.
  • Respiratory disease.
  • Heart disease.

In addition, periodontal disease has been linked to miscarriages and premature births.

The Traditional Treatments for Gum Disease

Scaling and Root Planing (SRP)

The usual treatment for periodontal disease is a non-surgical procedure referred to as scaling and root planing. During this procedure, the hardened plaque that has accumulated below the gum line is removed.

A scaling and root planing procedure is used as a means to prevent the infection from progressing to the surrounding areas. Once the pockets that have formed next to the teeth are cleaned and disinfected, they usually shrink; however, because there is always a risk of other bacteria infiltrating into the treated areas periodontal disease is considered a chronic pathology (i.e., an ongoing problem).

Pocket-Reduction Surgery

When Dr. Lamas performs pocket-reduction surgery (i.e., osseous surgery), the patient receives local anesthesia. He uses a scalpel to remove diseased or infected periodontal tissue. Although pocket-reduction surgery effectively addresses gum disease, this procedure is much more invasive than the innovative LANAP® treatment protocol is.

The Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure® is Available at Lamas Dental Specialists, in Miami

As a periodontist who is a Certified Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure® Laser (LANAP®) Periodontal Therapy Clinician and also a Doctor of Dental Medicine, Dr. William P. Lamas performs the innovative, FDA-approved LANAP® protocol to treat gum disease at his office in Miami.

The revolutionary LANAP® treatment method has made an enormous impact in the dental industry because this protocol can be used to save the teeth that traditional treatments for periodontal disease cannot.

The PerioLase® MVP-7 is the World’s First Digital Dental Laser

The PerioLase® MVP-7 is the laser used while performing the LANAP® treatment. This laser fiber is the width of three human hairs and, while it can be used for other treatments, it was specifically designed for the treatment of gum disease. The laser is silent and patients do not experience pain as the laser passes between the gums and the teeth, they just feel a warm sensation in the areas being treated.

How the PerioLase® MVP-7 Works

The method used to eliminate diseased tissue can be compared to the lifting of ink from a piece of paper. The laser uses heat to carefully strip away the infected gingival tissue. Since the infected gingival tissue is darker than healthy gingival tissue, the PerioLase® MVP-7 finds the infected tissue by looking for the gum tissue that is darker in color.

Once the infected tissue is removed, the laser is used to heat the treatment area until a blood clot forms. The clot seals the area, reducing the likelihood of reinfection and allowing the body to heal itself naturally.

Using Lasers at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami to Treat Gum Disease

The revolutionary LANAP® protocol replaces scalpels and stitches with lasers and ultrasonic instruments for the treatment of periodontal disease. By using the LANAP® treatment protocol, instead of the traditional scaling and root planing procedure and pocket-reduction surgery, Dr. Lamas can ensure that no tissue is unnecessarily removed or reduced to a lower level. In addition, the stem cell stimulation achieved during the LANAP® treatment leads to the formation of new bone, connective tissue and collagen.

Benefits of LANAP® over traditional periodontal treatment methods include:

  • A success rate of nearly 90 percent.
  • Minimal discomfort during and following the procedure.
  • An absence of the dental drill helps to put patients at ease.
  • Promoting regeneration of the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone.
  • A faster healing process.
  • Less bleeding.
  • No need for stitches.
  • A decrease in the amount of sensitivity experienced after the procedure.
  • No need for local anesthesia (in most cases).
  • Teeth that are more stable following the procedure.
  • A reduced risk of infection because the laser sterilizes the periodontal pocket and then seals it.
  • A quicker procedure.
  • A substantial decrease in the incidence of relapse.
  • Less medication and fewer follow-up visits.
  • That it is less expensive than traditional gum surgery.

Who Should Consider Having a LANAP® Treatment at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami?

Anyone with gum disease that has progressed past the first stage should consider seeking treatment from a Certified Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure® Laser Periodontal Therapy Clinician like Dr. William P. Lamas.

Treating Gum Disease – An Initial Consultation

Before starting any treatment, Dr. William Lamas will perform a full periodontal examination. This examination is essential to determining the overall health of your mouth. If your periodontal disease has progressed past the first stage, your examination may include X-rays. He uses these X-rays to evaluate the reabsorption grade of your jawbone and alveoli bone. Once your initial consultation is complete, Dr. Lamas may recommend that you have a professional cleaning.

If you are a good candidate for the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure®, Dr. Lamas will create you a custom-designed treatment plan.

What to Expect During Your LANAP® Treatment in Miami

The LANAP® treatment protocol is a full-mouth procedure that is typically completed in two sessions that are performed about a week apart. Each session lasts approximately two hours.

The LANAP® Treatment Protocol: Procedure Steps at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

Here are the 7 steps Dr. Lamas uses while performing a LANAP® treatment at his office in Miami:

1. Using a periodontal probe, the depth of the pockets surrounding the patient’s teeth is determined.
2. The laser removes diseased tissue and bacteria. In addition, tartar that has built up on the surface of the roots is loosened.
3. The loosened tartar is removed using ultrasonic instruments created especially for use by dental professionals.
4. Dr. Lamas moves the laser over the treatment areas a second time to finish cleaning the pockets and to encourage blood clot formation. Blood clots seal the treatment area to help prevent new germs from entering the freshly cleaned pockets.
5. The reattachment of soft tissue and bone to the clean root surfaces is initiated.
6. The patient’s bite will be evaluated and adjusted accordingly. This eliminates issues related to bite trauma.
7. With time, new connective tissue and bone attachment will occur.

What to Expect During Recovery

Following your LANAP® treatment, you should be able to resume your normal activities and return to work or school rather quickly.

Several days following your LANAP® treatment, you should expect to experience some mild soreness in the areas that were treated. This symptom can usually be alleviated with an over-the-counter pain medication like Ibuprofen. Patients who take medications or who have never taken Ibuprofen before should speak to their doctor before taking any medication. You may notice that your gums look discolored, this is a temporary side effect, it will subside.

What you need to do after your LANAP® Treatment at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami:

  • Do not floss or brush for at least 10 days following your treatment.
  • Splints may be used to immobilize your teeth: It is vital that you wear these splints as directed. They promote healing and stabilize your teeth.
  • Dr. Lamas will probably adjust your bite several times over the next few months, these adjustments are a very important part of the healing process.
  • Do not use tobacco. The nicotine in tobacco interferes with the body’s ability to heal itself because it constricts (i.e., narrows) the blood vessels. As the tobacco reduces blood flow to the skin, there is a shortage of the essential nutrients and oxygen that are needed during the healing process.
  • A soft diet is recommended for 7 to 10 days following treatment. This diet can consist of foods like mashed potatoes and gravy, pastas, pudding, gelatin, yogurt (that does not contain any kind of fruit with tiny seeds), smooth ice cream (no nuts, chocolate chunks, etc.), soft vegetables and applesauce.

Risks and Side Effects of LANAP® Surgery for the Treatment of Gum Disease

Very few risks are associated with laser surgery. However, gingival damage due to the use of an inappropriate wavelength or power level can occur, but this complication is very rare.

The Cost of LANAP® Surgery and Insurance Coverage

The cost of LANAP® surgery depends on the extent of treatment an individual needs. Once Dr. Lamas examines your mouth, he will be able to determine how much your LANAP® surgery will cost. Since fewer visits are necessary, LANAP® surgery is usually less expensive than traditional gum surgery techniques.

Most policies reimburse patients for the treatment they receive, despite the type of device that was used to perform the procedure. So, it should not matter whether you are receiving a traditional treatment for gum disease or the new LANAP® surgery, the compensation amount is probably the same for both procedures. However, Dr. William Lamas recommends that his patients contact their insurance company to find out what they will cover before starting treatment.

Dental Care After LANAP® Surgery

After your LANAP® surgery, practicing good oral hygiene is critical to preventing a recurrence of the infection. Brushing and flossing your teeth daily, and rinsing with some type of antimicrobial mouthwash – at a different time of the day – can help reduce your likelihood of developing gum disease again. It is important to note that you should not rinse with a mouthwash that does not contain fluoride after brushing and flossing: Doing so will rinse away the fluoride from the toothpaste.

Dr. William P. Lamas has been serving South Florida for more than 20 years. If you think you have gum disease, or you already know that you need periodontal surgery, Dr. Lamas can help. He can use the innovative LANAP® protocol to preserve your gums as well as to reduce your root sensitivity and eliminate exposure. Dr. Lamas can accomplish this without using a scalpel or placing any stitches. To learn more about this revolutionary procedure, and the other treatments available at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, contact the office today at (305) 440-4114 to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.

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FAQs about LANAP

How long do I have to wait after my LANAP treatment to have braces placed?

Okay. So the official word on that is you have to wait one year between the LANAP treatment and when you start your orthodontic treatment. But I would say that your specialist should assess your case and give you his opinion or advice regarding the time frames between one and the other. That could vary case to case to case. So please consult your doctor regarding time frame between LANAP and orthodontic treatment.

Can the LANAP procedure be used to treat minor gum recession?

No, the LANAP procedure is a protocol for periodontal disease treatment. And so gum recession is actually exposure of the roots, retraction of the gum tissue, and that takes more of a gum grafting type procedure or regeneration of the gum type procedure. LANAP is more of a... use of the laser is to disinfect the areas underneath the gum tissue and those areas that contaminate the root structure. And so one is not really used to address another.

How much does an LANAP procedure cost to treat periodontal disease?

You know, any treatment varies depending on the patient and the extent of the treatment. So LANAP treatment varies between, I would say, anywhere between $7,000 to $10,000. So, I think that those are averages of the United States at this point in time for that type of treatment.

I have deep pockets around the back of my upper and lower teeth; is osseous surgery my only treatment option?

No Osseous surgery is not your only choice or treatment option when it deals with pockets in those areas. Laser therapy is also a treatment option that you can use in those areas.

I have gum recession with 3-6 mm pockets. Is LANAP my best option?

If you have pocketing and you are a patient that has gum disease, periodontal disease, LANAP is a great protocol for you... treatment. Again, you have to be assessed by a specialist and be consulted with and just make sure that this is the right treatment for you. But yeah, I would say that LANAP is an option when you have those types of pockets. Now, the gum recession itself, I don't think would be taken care of by the LANAP. That has to be looked at in a different way, more towards gum grafting, gum regeneration type of procedures.

Every one of my teeth is affected by gum disease, should i try to save them, or havr the teeth extracted?

That question really takes some examination and consultation by your specialist to see the extent of your gum disease and if you're at that point that you've lost so much bone structure around the roots of your teeth, that it would be beneficial to you to transition over to dental implants. I would not recommend for you to just take out your teeth and go to a denture. That is something that I would not recommend. That is detrimental in many other ways. And so, please consider either saving your teeth if you can, and if you cannot, then dental implants would be the other option for you.

I have erosive oral lichen planus; can I have LANAP done without undergoing the root-planing procedure first?

So if I understand this question correctly, the patient has a condition of the gum tissue that is an autoimmune condition, and I guess this patient was going to undergo what we call traditionally deep cleanings. So that means a numbing of the tissue and then scraping of the roots with instruments to try to get underneath the gum tissue and clear out the infection. Actually the protocol for LANAP is not to do scaling and root planing. It's to go directly to the LANAP procedure without scaling and root planing. And so we typically don't do scaling and root planing before we perform LANAP.

I have periodontitis, what treatment can be used to kill the bacteria around the roots of my teeth?

Typically in today's a day and age, we're using lasers to treat gum disease more and more. Lasers are a phenomenal tool for it. It gives us a minimally invasive way to access those areas underneath the gum tissue and kill the bacteria that adhere to the root structure. Again, I think that there's more to just periodontal... when you have periodontal disease, there's more to just the initial treatment of the removal of the bacteria. You have a disease. It's a condition that is not curable at this point in time. And so it needs to be followed and managed by either your dental specialist or your general dentist.
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