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 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 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 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 (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.).
– 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.
Dr. William P. Lamas Reviewed by Elena Garcia
“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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