How Does Laser Periodontal Therapy Work?

Patient visiting dentist

If you have gum disease, it is important to do anything that you can to slow or even stop the progression of this disorder. Over time, untreated periodontal disease can cause tooth and bone loss, which may require the need for dentures and other oral appliances. A new technology that has changed the world of periodontal treatment is known as laser therapy. This option is eradicating diseased tissue and allowing the gums to heal naturally.

What is Laser Periodontal Therapy?
Laser periodontal therapy involves the use of a medically-safe laser that uses varying wave lengths. This laser is intricately placed into the gum pockets between the tooth and the surrounding gum tissue. These gum pockets hold onto the bacteria that affects the health of the tissue as well as the diseased tissue itself. The laser is used to cut away at the diseased, infected tissue so that it can heal naturally. It is one of the first of its kind to put a stop to even advanced periodontal disease.

How Does Laser Periodontal Therapy Work?
Dr. Gurinsky will perform the laser therapy using a high-powered but safe laser machine. The laser is aimed directly into the gum pockets to destroy diseased tissues and cells. The laser is not powerful enough to affect healthy tissue, so it is left in place. The roots of the teeth are then scraped to prevent bacterial adhesion. Over time, the gums are allowed to naturally heal back against the tooth to close up these gingival pockets. Laser therapy is incredibly effective and can put a stop to the overall progression of gum disease. It is safe to use and does not hurt or affect healthy gum tissue when used correctly.

What to Expect with Laser Therapy
The procedure is done quickly and relatively painlessly. The high-powered laser works to eradicate any diseased tissue around the teeth. The roots of the teeth are scraped using special tools, getting rid of any bacteria in this area. The gums will heal into place and will periodically be checked for signs of gingivitis and gum disease. It is important that you follow good oral hygiene habits after having laser therapy performed. While it can put an end to your current gum disease, there is no guarantee that it will not come back if you do not take better care of your teeth and gums. We are here to answer any questions that you might have regarding periodontal laser therapy and how it works. We understand that this new technology may be confusing or daunting for some of our patients and this is why we have worked to develop the best way to provide it to our patients.

Who Does Dental Implants?

Dental Implants on white background

Dental implants have become one of the most common restorations in the industry. In the past, you might have had only two options to replace a missing tooth and that was with a fixed dental bridge or a partial denture. Fortunately, technology has changed and you can now replace a missing tooth without the need to compromise surrounding teeth or wear a removable appliance. Furthermore, patients may want or need implants if they wear a denture that they’d like to keep more firmly in place.

What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant typically consists of a titanium post, a connector and the top crown. The implant post itself will become osseointegrated into the bone, which means that your natural bone will grow in and around the implant. Once osseointegrated, the doctor will place a specially-made dental crown on top to restore a full, even smile. Dental implants are permanent, so once they have healed fully, you can expect them to last a lifetime without needing to be replaced or repaired. Implants are most often made out of titanium, but they can also be made out of ceramic or zirconia.

Who Does Dental Implants?
Dental implant surgery is commonly performed in general dental offices, but it is most often done by specialists. General dentists who have undergone special training and education to place implants are able to perform the procedure safely and efficiently. Some dentists may refer their patients to a local oral surgeon or periodontist who will then place the implants for them. As a periodontist and dental implant specialist, Dr. Gurinsky is able to perform every part of the implant procedure as well as restoration of older or failed implants. He works to provide his patients with a level of professionalism and comfort that isn’t often found in the dental field.

What Can You Expect with Surgery for Dental Implants?
The surgery for dental implants is often quite straightforward. First, you’ll have a consultation and exam to determine the type of implant that you need as well as where it needs to be placed. We will discuss sedative options prior to having the surgery performed. You will then come in and have the actual surgery in-office. The procedure involves creating a small incision through the gums to expose the bone. Using specialized tools, a canal is drilled into the bone and the implant post placed. The incision is sutured and you’ll need to come back routinely to ensure the implant is healing properly. Implants rely on a natural process known as osseointegration. This simply refers to the point when your bone fuses and bonds with a foreign object in the body, like the dental implant. You’ll then need to have a special dental crown made to place on top of the implant. For denture wearers, a new plate has to be made to fit properly onto the implants.

What are Some Early Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease affects millions of adults worldwide and is the leading cause of tooth loss. When gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into gum disease. Gum disease can be treated to prevent complete tooth and bone loss within the mouth, but it is important to take steps to prevent the disease altogether. If you have been told that you have gingivitis, it is crucial that you practice better oral hygiene and keep up with regular bi-annual dental appointments.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease occurs when the inner layer of bone and gum begin to separate from the teeth. As the gums and bone pull away, small pockets form around the teeth themselves, allowing bacteria, food particles and plaque to get in there and further irritate the gums. As this bacteria irritates the gums, inflammation and infection ensue and the gums separate even more from the teeth in response to infection. If left completely untreated, tooth loss can occur and extensive procedures may be needed to correct your dentition.

What are Early Warning Signs of Gum Disease?

As with most other diseases and health disorders, warning signs are often seen prior to the full development of the disease. Gingivitis is the precursor to periodontal disease, so if you’ve been told that you have gingivitis, it is important to keep up with proper oral care habits to prevent it from progressing into gum disease. Some of the most common warning signs that you have gum disease include:

  • Foul breath (despite regular brushing)
  • Red, swollen and irritated gums
  • Bleeding gums (especially when brushing and flossing)
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum irritation and pain
  • Receding gums (teeth appear longer)

Regular bi-annual dental appointments include a periodontal examination that will check for signs of gingivitis and gum disease. During these appointments, the pockets around your teeth will be measured to see if either gingivitis or gum disease is present and you will be given information on the best course of action to correct the problem. This is why regular preventative care is so crucial in the fight against periodontal disease. If, however, you do not get into the office as often as you should, it’s important to look for these warning signs and receive care as soon as possible so that the disease is not allowed to progress any further. The health of your gums is a complete reflection of the health of your smile.

Is Gum Disease Reversible?

Gum Disease

There are generally three stages of periodontal disease and while two stages are irreversible, the first stage is your opportunity to reverse the condition for a healthier and brighter smile. Keeping your teeth clean and making time for regular professional dental cleanings are crucial for detecting a problem as well as preventing it from forming in the first place. Because nearly 50 percent of adults have periodontitis, it is important to take steps to care for your teeth properly.

The Stages of Gum Disease

There are three stages to gum disease and each comes with its own problems and solutions.

• Gingivitis –

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is completely reversible. By practicing better oral hygiene as well as making time for regular dental cleanings and exams, you can completely reverse gingivitis so that it does not progress into more advanced periodontal disease.

• Mild Periodontitis –

The second stage of periodontal disease involves mild periodontitis where the gums and bone around the teeth begin to separate from the teeth. This can cause bleeding and inflammation of the gums as well as infection and pain. Larger pockets begin to form around the teeth, allowing bacteria to become lodged in these areas and further irritate the gums.

• Advanced Periodontitis –

This is the third and final stage of periodontal disease and is often where the most damage is found. Ligaments have been completely destroyed due to the infection and tooth loss often occurs. Many patients with advanced periodontitis will need to have teeth pulled and a denture placed in order to correct their smile. Bone grafting may need to be performed to replace missing bone at this stage.

Can Gum Disease Be Reversed?

Gum disease can really only be reversed when it is in its first stage, more commonly known as gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, it is important to begin practicing good oral hygiene habits in order to prevent the disease from progressing. Good oral hygiene involves regular brushing, preferably with a power toothbrush, flossing daily and making time for bi-annual dental cleanings. If you currently have mild to advanced periodontitis, there are many procedures and treatment options to slow and even stop the progression of the disease. This is why regular trips to the dentist is so important, as it can help you to receive the treatment that you need to retain a full smile.

What is LANAP Laser Periodontal Surgery?

LANAP is a laser protocol that treats mild, moderate and even advanced periodontal disease. The procedure utilizes a specialized wavelength laser that effectively removes infected and diseased tissue from around and underneath the gum line. Once removed, the gum tissue is allowed to heal on its own and the progression of the disease is completely halted. Over the course of several years and with regular dental hygiene practices, patients can experience healthier gums and a brighter smile.

What is LANAP?

LANAP utilizes a patented and FDA-cleared laser technology that is aimed at getting rid of diseased and infected gum tissue. The laser uses seven variable pulse durations that target specific types of tissue. Unhealthy and diseased gum tissue is then excised without the need for scalpels, sutures or cutting. The treatment utilizes the body’s natural healing process to heal the gum tissue around each tooth. Splints may be used in conjunction with the treatment to keep teeth in place while the gums are healing.

What are the Benefits of LANAP?

This treatment is often preferred by patients because it is less invasive and requires minimal downtime after having it completed. Some of the benefits of LANAP include:

  • Less invasive than other surgical options
  • Quickly and easily done in-office without the need for general anesthesia
  • Effective removal of diseased, infected gum tissue
  • Encourages the body’s natural healing process
  • Minimal downtime after treatment is completed
  • Less pain and discomfort
  • No incisions or sutures involved
  • Fewer chances of post-operative infections
  • Less swelling and bleeding
  • No loss of healthy gum tissue

What to Expect During and After Treatment

Prior to having LANAP laser treatment performed, you’ll need to come into the office for a consultation. The consultation involves a comprehensive examination, series of x-rays and discussion about treatment options, payments and costs involved. The consultation is the perfect time for you to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure. You will also learn about what is involved with the procedure and what to expect before, during and after the procedure.

It is important to follow all post-treatment instructions to ensure proper healing of the gum tissue. You need to follow proper oral hygiene to prevent the recurrence of inflammation and infection in these areas, causing the need for additional surgery to be performed. With proper post-operative care and good hygiene habits, you can expect LANAP treatment to be incredibly effective at treating gum disease.

Is Laser Periodontal Treatment Effective?

Dental Laser

In recent years, laser periodontal therapy has been utilized in the effective treatment of periodontal disease. Laser treatment has many benefits that other surgical options simply do not provide. Patients who undergo laser treatment have found that it is far less invasive and painful than other treatments and that the diseased gum tissue is excised quickly and efficiently to promote natural healing.

What is Laser Periodontal Treatment?

Laser periodontal treatment involves the use of lasers that use various types of wavelengths. During the procedure, the lasers are precisely aimed at diseased gum tissue around the teeth and deep into the pockets that have formed as a result of periodontal disease. The procedure does not require general anesthesia as is found with other more invasive surgeries. No scalpels or sutures are needed when treatment is being done, which means less healing time for the patient. After the procedure is complete, the roots of the teeth will be scaled to remove plaque and calculus as well as smooth the roots of the teeth underneath the gum line. The area between the gum tissue and the tooth can then heal naturally on its own.

Is It Effective at Treating Periodontal Disease?

There is a reason why periodontal laser treatment has become a go-to for most patients with periodontitis. It is highly effective at getting rid of diseased tissue around the teeth, allowing your body’s natural healing process to take control and close up the pockets that are present. This can prevent tooth loss due to the progression of periodontal disease. The procedure is much less invasive than other surgeries and options available to you and minimal anesthesia is required to have it performed in-office.

Specialized wavelengths are used to remove only infected and diseased gum tissue so that healthy tissue is preserved. No sutures, incisions or cuts are made so that healing is quick and relatively painless upon completion of the procedure. If you have questions concerning laser periodontal treatment, Dr. Gurinsky will be able to consult with you and provide the answers that you need. Laser treatment is an effective option for most adults with mild to moderate periodontitis as well as those in the more advanced stages of the disease. While this treatment option isn’t for everyone, most adults with periodontal disease can benefit from this option as it provides effective relief of diseased and infected gum tissue.

Do Dental Implants Need to Be Replaced?

Tooth Implant

Dental implants are ideal for patients who have missing teeth and want to completely replace them. An implant is surgically placed underneath the gum line and into the bone to create a fully secured abutment for crowns, fixed bridges and even dentures. Because dental implants require surgery, many patients are concerned about what to expect with the procedure and whether or not the implant will need to be replaced at some point in the future.

How Dental Implants Work

Dental implants are made out of surgical-grade titanium and are surgically placed underneath the gum line and into the bone. Small holes within these implant rods allow for the appliance to fuse naturally with the jaw bone over the course of three to six months. Once healed, a crown, fixed bridge or denture can be fitted on top of the implant to create a full, beautiful smile. The procedure itself is quick and considering how long implants last, the three to six month heal time is short in comparison to the benefits you’ll receive from the implants that have been placed.

Do Dental Implants Need to Be Replaced?

Dental implants are made out of surgical-grade titanium and meant to last a lifetime. They are incredibly durable and long-lasting, so they can withstand quite a lot of force and pressure. You should never have to replace your dental implants once they have healed and fused with the bone. However, you will need to replace the appliances that are placed on top of the implant, such as the crowns, bridge work and dentures. The implant itself will last a lifetime without the need for replacement or adjustment.

It is important that even though implants are permanent that you still come into the office to have routine examinations. In the event that there is a problem with the implant, this will be caught during your routine preventative examinations. The reason most patients choose dental implants over other options is because they are completely permanent and require no replacing. You can think of your dental implant as a lifelong investment that will be there to provide you with a full smile no matter your age. Most healthy adults can have dental implants placed, so be sure to have a consultation with Dr. Gurinsky to begin the process of having them placed and for you to begin benefiting from what they can do for you.

What Should You Not Eat After Getting Dental Implants?

Spaghetti al pomodoro, one of the simplest Italian rustic dishes with the pasta tossed in a sauce of tomato, basil, garlic and a little sugar and oil.

Dental implant surgery requires making a small incision into the gums and bone to place a surgical-grade titanium rod. Because this procedure creates a wound within the mouth, it’s important that you avoid eating certain foods following the surgery to ensure proper healing. While it might seem frustrating to avoid your favorite foods, keep in mind that this is only temporary and that it will improve your comfort and the way that the implant is able to heal.

Foods to Avoid After Implant Surgery

Immediately after surgery, you should avoid hard and semi-hard foods completely. It’s recommended that you only consume foods like pudding, ice cream, soft soups and yogurt so that no force or pressure is applied to the wound site. These soft foods will also not get stuck in the wound like other foods. It is important to only eat a liquid-based diet for the first two days following surgery.

After those first two days have passed, you can move onto eating semi-liquid foods like mashed potatoes, eggs, pancakes and pasta. You should continue this semi-liquid food diet for about five days following the implant procedure. After one week, you can resume your normal eating and diet behaviors as the area will have healed enough to eat normally.

However, even after a week following the procedure, you should avoid the following foods for up to two weeks:

  • Popcorn
  • Chips
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Sticky foods (caramel, gum, chewy candy)
  • Seeds (poppy, chia)

Other Considerations After the Procedure

Following the surgical procedure, you will receive detailed aftercare instructions that will outline what you can and cannot do while the area is healing. You need to avoid smoking, spitting and drinking through a straw as these can cause a condition known as dry socket, which prevents the wound from forming a blood clot and healing.

If you need to come back into the office after the procedure, it is important to keep all of your dental appointments to ensure that the area is healing correctly and the implant is beginning to fuse with the bone. You can think of this post-operative care as insurance for your brand new implant. Having a well-established and fully healed implant provides you with a beautiful, full smile that you can feel proud to show off. For this reason, it’s important to follow a regimented diet after you have the procedure done by Dr. Gurinsky. If you have any questions regarding the procedure or what you can and cannot eat, be sure to contact the office at your earliest convenience.

What Happens During a Dental Implant Consultation?

Dental implants are ideal for patients who are completely missing dentition. When surgically placed and healed successfully, implants can last a lifetime and provide a structure for other appliances such as crowns, bridge work and even dentures. Dental implant surgery can be done quickly and relatively easily in the dental office at your own convenience. Before the surgery can take place, a full consultation with Dr. Gurinsky will need to be conducted to ensure you’re a viable candidate for the procedure.

What to Expect During a Consultation

The consultation will include a comprehensive examination, series of x-rays as well as a thorough discussion about costs, fees and payment plans. The examination and x-rays that will be done will look for signs of bone loss within the area as well as bone density problems. Patients with compromised immune systems and those who are slow to heal may be denied the surgical procedure because of the body’s inability to heal itself after the procedure has been done. A CT scan may also be taken, which shows the nerves and tissue within the area where the implant will be placed.

Who is a Good Candidate for Implants?

Most healthy adults are good candidates for dental implants, so you can think of your implant consultation as the prerequisite for the actual procedure. However, the consultation can also decipher if you should have the surgery done safely and to ensure that the implant will heal successfully. Dr. Gurinsky will walk you through the entire procedure during the consultation so that you know exactly what to expect when having it done in the office. The consultation is a good time for you to ask any questions that you have regarding the procedure. Dr. Gurinsky will be more than happy to help answer any questions that you might have so that you are fully prepared and know what to expect.

Dental implant surgery is ideal for most people who want to correct missing dentition without the use of other more invasive procedures. Implant surgery is incredibly common and millions of people have had implants placed. These surgical-grade titanium rods heal quickly and fuse naturally with the bone, providing a secure abutment for crowns, bridge work and dentures. Dr. Gurinsky will discuss your options as well as what to expect when you choose to have the procedure performed.

Sources:

Current Trends in Dental Implants

American Academy of Implant Dentistry

How to care for dental implants?

Dental implants are a great solution if you want comfortable natural looking teeth. As with any restorative procedure, you must have a good at home care routing to keep your smile looking great. Good oral hygiene is required with dental implants to increase the life of the implant.

The recovery time for dental implants is approximately four to six months while the bone fuses to your new implant. The recovery time may also vary if bone grafting is needed.

After the procedure, an at home care routine must begin. Tissue surrounding the affected teeth should remain pink and show no signs of infection. Oral hygiene is a key part in making sure your implants heal properly. Our team at Brian Gurinsky DDS, MS, will discuss what at home care routine is needed, to ensure your dental implants look and feel great for years.

Here are some guidelines to follow when caring for your dental implants:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily to remove any bacteria or plaque, and use a non-abrasive type brush. A soft tooth brush is ideal to use on dental implants.
  • Avoid any products containing stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride, baking soda or stain removers. The oxide layer can be compromised if these products are used, and the implant can be prone to corrosion.
  • Non-abrasive paste should be used when brushing your teeth. This will prevent scratching the surface of the implant.
  • Floss daily using an implant specific floss. This will protect the tissue around the implants.
  • If inflammation is seen around the implants use a non-microbial rinse.
  • A Waterpik Water Flosser can be used to reduce inflammation and reach difficult areas around the implants.

Dental implants should be kept clean, and this can be done by following the care guidelines above. While you brush your teeth make sure to brush on all sides of the implant to cover all areas. If you care for your implants, they can last a very long time and provide a smile you are proud of.

With our assistance and a great at home care routine, you can lengthen the life of your dental implants and keep them looking great.

Please call or email Brian Gurinsky DDS, MS today to schedule your appointment and see how we can meet your dental implant needs.