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Miami – Laser Periodontal Therapy

Many people in the United States have periodontal disease (i.e., gum disease) but neglect to seek treatment because of the stress and discomfort associated with the dental solutions for this problem; however, laser periodontal therapy at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami provides patients with a more comfortable, less stressful treatment for gum disease. As a Certified LANAP® Laser Periodontal Therapy Clinician and Doctor of Dental Medicine, Dr. William P. Lamas provides his patients with a fast, and comfortable treatment option that offers extremely effective results.

At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, Dr. Lamas uses lasers to treat moderate to severe gum disease: This innovative treatment allows him to address gum disease more efficiently and with greater accuracy.

Periodontal Disease Can Negatively Affect More Than Just the Teeth

Periodontal disease is characterized by an inflammation affecting the hard and soft structures that support the teeth. During its early stages, the gums appear red and swollen: At this point, the condition is referred to as gingivitis. If treatment is sought, gingivitis can be reversed; however, without treatment, the infection may become chronic, at which point it is referred to as periodontitis. Besides increasing the likelihood of tooth loss, left untreated, periodontitis may also increase the risk of an individual suffering a heart attack and/or a stroke.

Laser Periodontal Therapy is Now Available at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

Today, laser therapy is frequently used across a variety of healthcare fields, including dentistry. In 1991, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared lasers for use in the dental industry. Since that time, these revolutionary procedures have dramatically changed the way a number of dental conditions are treated, including periodontal disease. The main purpose of laser periodontal therapy is to eliminate the bacteria that are multiplying within the pockets surrounding the teeth. By eradicating these bacteria, further destruction of the tissue and bone that are responsible for holding the teeth in place is reduced.

Laser Light vs. The Rays of the Sun

Whereas, the sun’s rays generate a number of varying wavelengths, the lasers that are used in dentistry consist of a single wavelength. This one beam is used to identify and then eliminate diseased tissue and eradicate bacteria. Using this revolutionary method, Dr. Lamas can strategically target the areas of the mouth that require treatment; thus, significantly reducing the likelihood of damage to the other healthy areas within the mouth.

Understanding Gum Disease

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the term used to refer to early periodontal disease. Generally, periodontal disease occurs due to long-term exposure to the sticky, colorless film that forms on the teeth after sleeping or eating. This sticky substance is called plaque.

Needless to say, gum disease originates in the gums and occurs when food particles are left behind and the harmful bacteria in the mouth begins to multiply. There are several problems linked to untreated gingivitis, these issues include alveolar bone loss, the development of periodontitis and abscesses (pockets of pus in the tooth).

Types of Bacteria Found in the Mouth

Although there have been more than 700 strains of bacteria identified in the mouth, most people only host somewhere between 34 to 72 strains. The majority of the bacteria in our mouths are harmless and some strains are even necessary. Some of the bacteria naturally found within our mouths assists with our digestion processes; however, Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis are the two bacteria that are the most harmful to the gums, and teeth.

  • Streptococcus Mutans

    – Streptococcus mutans lives in the mouth, feeding on the starches and sugars that we eat; however, it is the enamel-eroding, acidic by-product that these bacteria produce after eating that causes our teeth to decay.

  • Porphyromonas Gingivalis

    – Porphyromonas gingivalis is typically not found in a healthy mouth; therefore, when this strain of bacteria is present, periodontitis is likely.

Left Untreated, Gingivitis May Progress to Periodontitis

This serious, progressive disease negatively affects the support system of the teeth (i.e., the alveolar bone and tissue). If periodontitis is left untreated, it can lead to pain and tooth loss: This disease is also linked to lung and heart conditions.

Plaque Buildup Can Lead to Gum Disease

If the plaque is left on the teeth, it hardens. Once hardened, the plaque becomes tartar (i.e., calculus). Tartar can form above and below the gum line. Once tartar forms, it must be removed by a dental professional. Left untreated, tartar can lead to periodontal disease and a receding gum line.

Pregnancy and Plaque

Pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing gum disease because excessive amounts of this colorless, sticky film may develop during pregnancy. It is believed that the hormonal changes a woman experiences during her pregnancy may promote the production of plaque.

Early Warning Signs of Gum Disease

While early warning signs of gum disease frequently go unnoticed, knowing what to look for may help.

Here are some of the warning signs typically seen with gum disease:

  • halitosis (bad breath);
  • painful or tender gums that appear swollen; as well as
  • bleeding after flossing and/or brushing.

Types of Non-Surgical Gum Treatments Available in Miami

Scaling and Root planing can be used to remove tartar and plaque buildup above and below the gum line. The number of scaling and root planing treatments a patient needs will vary and is based on the extent of the gum disease.

Laser Periodontal Therapy is a noninvasive procedure that can be used to address a wide range of periodontal issues.

Professional cleanings can help prevent the onset of gum disease; however, these dental cleanings are not considered a treatment for active periodontal disease.

Options for the Treatment of Periodontitis in Miami

There are a several ways that Dr. Lamas can treat periodontitis at his office in Miami:

  • Scaling and Root Planing

    – a scaling and root planing procedure may be used when the gums have detached from the tooth. Scaling and root planing involves scraping away the tartar that has formed below the patient’s gum line. When effective, root planing helps the gums reattach to the structure of the tooth. During the scaling and root planing procedure, Dr. Lamas can smooth the roots; however, not every instance of scaling and root planing leads to a successful gum reattachment. If the periodontal pockets persist following root planing and scaling, additional measures may be necessary.

  • The Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®)

    – the LANAP® Laser Periodontal Therapy is approved for use by the FDA. Individuals who have gum disease and are interested in an alternative, less-invasive treatment to periodontal surgery should consider having the LANAP® procedure with Dr. Lamas at his office in Miami.

  • Osseous Surgery

    – osseous surgery (i.e., traditional gum surgery, pocket-reduction surgery) is usually performed using local anesthesia. During this procedure, Dr. Lamas removes infected or diseased tissue is using a scalpel. Although osseous surgery is an effective solution (that is necessary in some cases), inflammation and minor bleeding may occur.

The LANAP® Procedure at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

LANAP® is a minimally-invasive procedure that allows Dr. William P. Lamas to treat his patients with periodontal disease without the need for surgical intervention. This therapy is much less invasive because Dr. Lamas uses a laser to pass over the targeted areas, successfully killing bacteria and gently removing any diseased tissue. Due to the laser’s precision, healthy tissue remains intact and unharmed. Moreover, since no incisions are made during the LANAP® therapy procedure, the patient does not require stitches.

On many occasions, since the LANAP® procedure is so gentle, and little to no trauma occurs to the healthy tissues within the mouth, Dr. Lamas will not need to use any local anesthesia.

Benefits of LANAP® therapy procedure for the treatment of gum disease:

  • Osseous surgery frequently results in a receding gum line; however, this is not a concern with LANAP® therapy.
  • Using the laser, Dr. William P. Lamas can precisely target diseased tissue and bacteria, which greatly reduces the amount of pain and soft tissue inflammation the patient experiences.
  • The LANAP® procedure actually helps generate new bone growth. This new growth supports and protects existing teeth.
  • After traditional osseous surgery for gum disease, recovery may take up to 4 weeks: During this recovery period, patients may experience a significant amount of inflammation and pain. In addition, until they have completely healed, patients may be restricted to a liquid or soft diet.
  • After scaling and root planing, patients typically experience pain for a day or two following the procedure; however, tooth sensitivity can last up to a week.
  • Following their LANAP® procedure, the majority of Dr. Lamas’ patients enjoy a rapid recovery period, lasting no more than 24 hours. Furthermore, most patients do not require pain medication.
  • Although a soft diet is recommended for a day or two following the LANAP® procedure, most patients feel well enough to eat whatever they want following their procedure for gum disease.
  • Since recovery from a LANAP® procedure lasts no more than 24 hours, patients can return to work sooner than they would have been able to following the traditional, osseous surgery for periodontal disease.
  • No incisions are made; therefore, sutures are not necessary.
  • There is no surface vibration or drilling performed during the LANAP® procedure.
  • The LANAP® procedure itself is more comfortable for patients than the standard osseous surgery is.
  • The results attained with the LANAP® procedure are comparable to, if not better than, the results achieved with traditional surgery for periodontal disease.
  • Whereas, traditional surgery for gum disease can involve four, one-hour sessions with several follow-up visits for check-ups and suture removal, laser periodontal therapy typically requires a single treatment visit with just two follow-up visits.
  • A shorter recovery period following laser periodontal therapy allows patients to return to work sooner, usually the very next day.

Effective Laser Gum Therapy Using the LANAP® Protocol in Miami

The precision of the laser beam used during the LANAP® treatment protocol ensures that no damage or changes are made to the healthy gums and teeth near the areas Dr. William P. Lamas is treating. He aims the laser directly at the targeted area, treating the gum tissue without making any incisions. Furthermore, the laser seals the area following treatment, eliminating the need for sutures and decreasing the likelihood of bleeding or infection setting in.

Issues That Laser Treatments in Miami Can Address

At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, Dr. Lamas frequently addresses a variety of issues using the LANAP® protocol.

Some of the other issues that can be addressed using the LANAP® protocol include:

  • Overgrown gum tissue

    – lasers can be used to reshape overgrown gum tissue. Overgrown gums can hold bacteria and tartar beneath the gum line, accelerating tooth decay. If the gum is contoured using a scalpel, bleeding and discomfort may be present as the patient recovers.

  • The pockets surrounding the teeth

    – with laser gum surgery, the depth of the diseased gum pockets that sit next to the teeth can be reduced or the pocket may be eliminated, altogether. Addressing these pockets is crucial because it is these pockets that promote tooth decay. These pockets house the bacteria that are responsible for creating by-products that break down tooth enamel.

  • Hidden tooth structures

    – a dental laser can be used to reshape a patient’s gum tissue and bone, allowing a healthy, solid tooth structure to be exposed. Once exposed, placing dental restorations in these areas is easier than it would have been without this innovative technology (e.g., crowns and fillings, etc.).

  • Soft-tissue folds

    – dentures that do not fit correctly can cause soft-tissue folds to form. Dr. Lamas can use dental lasers to painlessly remove these soft-tissue folds. Traditionally, soft-tissue folds were treated by cutting the gums and then stitching the incisions closed.

Due to the numerous benefits associated with laser periodontal therapy and laser treatments, many patients prefer the LANAP® method over the traditional surgical methods.

Who Should Consider Having Their Gum Disease Treated with the LANAP® Method?

Individuals with periodontal disease who would like to quickly and easily eliminate the diseased gum tissue, and bacteria to prevent any further damage to their teeth should consider laser periodontal therapy at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami.

Patients who have health concerns such as hemophilia, diabetes and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are good candidates for an LANAP® procedure. In addition, individuals with advanced periodontal disease who are taking Bisphosphonates medications (e.g., Fosamax) can delay or completely avoid the need for extractions because the LANAP® procedure can also provide benefits to teeth given a poor prognosis.

The 7-Step LANAP® Procedure at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

Dr. Lamas’ LANAP® Procedure usually consists of seven simple steps:

1. A periodontal probe is used to identify the depth of the pockets surrounding the teeth.
2. During the initial pass of the laser, the diseased tissue and bacteria are removed, and root surface tartar is loosened.
3. Using ultrasonic instruments that have been specifically designed for the dental industry, Dr. William P. Lamas removes the previously loosened tartar.
4. The second pass is used to stimulate the production of blood clots within the pockets surrounding the teeth, which prevents the regrowth of the epithelium in these targeted areas.
5. Dr. Lamas initiates the reattachment of bone and soft tissue to the newly cleaned root surfaces.
6. To eliminate issues related to bite trauma, the patient’s bite will be adjusted.
7. As time passes, bone growth and new connective tissue attachment will occur.

Following a gum disease diagnosis, seeking treatment promptly is the only way to reduce the risk of further damage to the gums, teeth and supporting tissues. Furthermore, early intervention reduces the likelihood of an individual’s overall health being negatively affected.

Instead of scalpels and stitches, Dr. William P. Lamas effectively treats gum disease and peri-implantitis (e.g., an infection close to a dental implant) with laser periodontal therapy at his office in Miami.

Preventing Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is considered the main cause of tooth loss in adults; however, it can be prevented. Seeking dental care from an experienced dentist, maintaining your teeth through good dental hygiene practices, having your biannual cleanings and dental checkups can all help prevent the onset of gum disease.

To learn more about how we can help you prevent and/or eradicate gum disease to promote new growth, and restore your smile, please schedule a complimentary consultation at Lamas Dental Specialists by calling 305-440-4114. Our office is located at 2645 SW 37th Avenue, Suite 304, in Miami.

 

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.

 

Dr. William P. Lamas
Rating: 5 Miami Periodontist- 5 Star Reviews

Dr. Lamas THANK YOU for your great service your dedication and your passion for what you do!! I recommend him to any one who is seeking a great periodontist!! No case is too difficult or too complex for him!! Great office, Great doctor and awesome Team!!

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