The Ultimate Guide to Laser Periodontal Treatment (LANAP®)
What does LANAP® stand for?
LANAP is the acronym for “Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure” which is a nonsurgical procedure for treating gum disease. The “new attachment” refers to the way this laser treatment encourages the attachment of healthy gum tissue to the bone in your jaw.
The LANAP protocol is a patented periodontal treatment, cleared by the FDA in 2004. This procedure can only be done by a certified doctor using the PerioLase® MVP-7.
What is LANAP Laser Periodontal Therapy?
Research has linked gum disease to a variety of health complications like respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, and diabetes, and should be considered a significant health risk. Until recently, gum disease treatments have been invasive and painful, usually involving cutting and removal of affected gums or extracting and replacing teeth with dentures or dental implants.
Recent advances in dental technology have provided us with a less invasive and more acute treatment for gum disease with the LANAP protocol (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure).
LANAP is the first and only FDA-cleared laser protocol on the market and the only scientifically proven method that results in true regeneration of the bone and gum tissues.
During a LANAP procedure, a specialized laser (the PerioLase MVP-7) is used to remove diseased tissue while keeping the healthy tissue intact. This laser uses variable speeds and wavelengths which allows for the targeted removal of diseased gum tissue and the bacteria that cause gum disease.
With this dental laser, we can selectively eradicate the bacteria from deep within the gum pockets without damaging the surrounding healthy gum tissues. This precise targeting of the diseased gum tissue leaves the freshly revealed and healthy gums which will reattach to the tooth.
LANAP is highly effective and can save teeth that otherwise would require extraction by promoting bone regeneration around the tooth.
Why use the PerioLase® MVP-7™?
The only type of laser that can be used for LANAP is the PerioLase MVP-7, which is designed specifically to support the LANAP protocol and is the only laser to be approved by the FDA for this use.
The PerioLase MVP-7 laser is a variably pulsed Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium-aluminum-garnet) laser and is ideal for removing only damaged tissue while leaving the healthy tissues completely intact. It has seven different settings for seven different pulse durations, each with a specific interaction with gum tissue.
These 7 adjustable pulse durations can be considered as 7 different lasers inside one device. The wavelengths used by this laser penetrate 4 millimeters into the surface of the gum and will explicitly target the diseased tissue of the gum while leaving the healthy gum tissue. Once the bacteria are removed, hemoglobin and the laser interact to form a clot which stops any bleeding and promotes tissue regeneration.
The laser also stimulates healthy gum tissue to create new attachments and improve the healing of your gums at a faster rate.
What are the Benefits of LANAP Laser Gum Surgery?
LANAP offers several benefits over traditional gum disease surgery. The greatest benefit of LANAP in treating gum disease lies in its ability to precisely target the sources of inflammation without damaging healthy gum tissue.
By preventing the gum tissue from detaching from the teeth and reducing the pocket depth between the gums and the teeth, the body can better recover from infection without the need for additional surgery.
Less painful than traditional surgery
As traditional dental surgery requires cutting and suturing of the gums, post-operative pain is to be expected and pain medication is usually prescribed.
Due to the expected pain of dental surgery, some patients choose to avoid the traditional tooth-saving processes and choose instead to have a dental extraction. The LANAP protocol, being less invasive than the other gum disease treatments available, means that the patient will have a more comfortable experience during the surgery.
If you have concerns about discomfort, or if you have general anxiety about having the LANAP procedure performed (dental phobia), ask us about the option for dental sedation.
For those patients who want to be “asleep” for the LANAP procedure please contact our office in advance. Periodontal & Implant Associates works with a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist to provide in-office anesthesia.
Protects healthy teeth and gums
The LANAP lasers are very precise, which means that it allows us to remove unhealthy bacteria without harming the healthy parts of the teeth and gums.
More comfortable post-operative healing
With the less invasive surgery of The LANAP procedure, patients will experience significantly less pain and rarely require post-operative medication.
Faster recovery time
Traditional cut-and-sew surgery has a recovery period of anywhere from two to four weeks, whereas LANAP surgery has a recovery period that is often less than 24 hours. Patients can typically resume their regular activities on the same day as the procedure.
Lower chance of reinfection
There is a significantly lower chance of reinfection as the disease-carrying bacteria has been thoroughly removed.
The shorter recovery time also helps to reduce the chance of post-surgery infection.
Avoids gum recession
Gum recession is the process in which the gum tissue surrounding the teeth pulls back or wears away and the tooth’s root is exposed. These gaps or “pockets” between the teeth and gums are sites where bacteria will build up and - if left untreated – may experience damage and ultimately loss of the tooth.
Traditional periodontal surgery requires that the gum line be cut using a scalpel to expose the tooth roots. These exposed areas can be especially sensitive to hot or cold temperatures and cause discomfort while eating or drinking.
As the LANAP procedure removes only the unhealthy and damaged tissue and not the healthy gum and bone, there is no significant gum line recession thus maintaining the aesthetic appearance of your smile.
Minimizes gum inflammation and bleeding
The PerioLase laser can remove up to 90% of oral inflammation after 1 visit as it destroys the bacteria that cause inflammation. The PerioLase laser also cauterizes the surrounding blood vessels without injuring healthy tissue thus preventing or minimizing bleeding.
Saves your teeth
The LANAP procedure can often save a patient’s teeth that have been weakened due to periodontal disease and cannot be preserved through the more conventional methods.
Although LANAP cannot guarantee that you will be able to save your teeth, the procedure has a very high success for most patients. It has been shown that even patients with a plan for complete extraction and full dentures now have a good chance to keep all their teeth and have them healthier than before.
Safe for most patients/No contraindications
When operated by a certified professional, the use of dental lasers is as safe, if not more so, than other dental treatments. There have been decades of research that addresses the long-term safety and effects of the procedure.
To be LANAP certified, there is rigorous training that doctors must accomplish before they can offer LANAP treatment to their patients.
For patients dealing with health issues like hemophilia or diabetes, The LANAP procedure is safer than conventional and invasive periodontal treatments which require the cutting of the gums. LANAP® has zero contraindications, meaning it does not interfere with any other diseases or medications.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About LANAP
Before LANAP, advanced gum disease was corrected by performing invasive surgery. In traditional flap surgery, the dentist would use a scalpel to cut away the diseased gum tissue and reach the infected pockets in your bone or gums. The damaged gums would then be reshaped and filled with grafting material before being sutured closed.
This pre-laser methodology is still performed today and has a high success rate, but it is much more invasive than LANAP and is more likely to result in potential side effects like tooth sensitivity, gum line recession, and discomfort during healing.
Because LANAP® eliminates the need for cutting the gums to decrease pocket depth, there is little to no gum line recession or sensitivity and less discomfort.
Laser periodontal treatment uses a tiny but powerful laser to remove inflamed tissue. This laser can distinguish between diseased and healthy tissue because the diseased tissue is generally darker.
Therefore, the diseased tissue and bacteria can be removed with a high level of precision without compromising the healthy gum, tooth, and bone tissue.
The LANAP procedure is fairly quick and can often be completed in as little as one or two office visits.
If you have been informed that you have gum disease, experience loose teeth, or bleeding from your gums during brushing, you may require gum treatment.
While LANAP is a highly effective treatment for gum disease, not every level of the disease requires surgical treatment. For early-stage gum disease, scaling & root planning (SRP) may be the only treatment that you need to restore the health of your teeth and gums
Patients with moderate-to-severe gum disease with bone or tissue loss can benefit most from the LANAP protocol.
For patients taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, the LANAP protocol has no contraindications, so patients do not have to stop taking any medications.
Since there is no cutting involved, the LANAP protocol is an excellent treatment option for patients who are fearful of conventional scalpel surgery.
A dentist consultation would be recommended, complete with x-rays, and a review of your medical and dental history. If you are a candidate for LANAP, our doctors will be glad to discuss your options for care so you can make an informed decision.
Please contact your nearby Periodontal & Implant Associates office for an appointment.
LANAP has a high success rate in preventing the loss of a tooth and increasing the tissue attachment between the bone and gum.
Studies on the LANAP procedure show less tooth loss after laser surgery, as compared to traditional surgery. It also has been shown to aid in gum regeneration and increase new tissue attachments between the gum and bone.
Among patients who have LANAP performed, the recurrence rate of periodontal disease is less than those who have had traditional gum surgery.
The laser used for LANAP stimulates the regeneration and attachment of the tooth root. Teeth formally considered beyond repair can now be saved and restored to their full functionality
As LANAP eliminates the need for sutures, the gums can heal under ideal conditions and regenerate faster.
In very severe cases, LANAP may be combined with other treatment options.
Unlike traditional flap surgery which requires cutting deep into the tissue of a patient’s gums, LANAP requires absolutely no cutting and sewing.
Instead of scalpels and sewing, this treatment relies on the use of a PerioLase MVP-7 laser which can directly target harmful bacteria and infection and clean out the gum pockets.
To begin the LANAP protocol procedure, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic to the gums.
The doctor will then begin using the laser to remove the diseased tissue and loosen the calculus (tartar) from the root surface of the tooth. This tiny laser beam (about as thick as three strands of hair) is inserted between the numbed gum tissue and the affected tooth.
The laser is pointed directly into the pocket between the tooth and gums and clears away infected tissue and bacteria without making any cuts. By specifically targeting the unhealthy tissue and bacteria there is no effect on the surrounding healthy tissue. This happens because the specific wavelength of the laser distinguishes between diseased and healthy tissue due to the diseased tissue being generally darker.
During the process of destroying diseased tissue, the laser activates proteins that are known as “growth factors”, which stimulate the regeneration and growth of healthy tissue, new periodontal ligament, cementum, and alveolar bone cells.
Next, the doctor will use ultrasonic instruments to remove the calculus from the surface of the tooth and prepare the root of the tooth for reattachment to the gums. Deep cleaning of the roots is necessary to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line.
Once the site is clean, the laser is used with a different setting to sterilize the pocket and close the surgical area. This laser now interacts with the hemoglobin and creates a firm fibrin blood clot that seals the periodontal pocket around the tooth allowing for healing to begin from beneath the gums.
Generally, only one side of the mouth will be treated during a session, and patients can comfortably drive themselves home and resume normal activities following their procedure.
The LANAP procedure may cause mild tenderness, swelling, bleeding, and tooth sensitivity.
If necessary, an ice pack may be placed against the outside of the cheek for twenty-minute periods to reduce swelling and soreness or tenderness.
After your LANAP procedure, a diet of soft foods is recommended. You will be given specific dietary instructions and home care guidelines after LANAP surgery.
The laser portion of your dental treatment normally only takes a few minutes. Depending on the severity of the periodontal disease, your treatment may be accomplished in one office visit or multiple visits.
The estimated treatment time will be reviewed with patients when we discuss their treatment plan.
LANAP periodontal surgery is a full mouth procedure and is usually completed in two 2-hour visits. During each visit, we will complete one side of the mouth. Surgeries are usually scheduled within one week of one another.
It is possible for the LANAP protocol to treat the entire mouth in one session, though most patients prefer to split the procedure into two sessions based on chair time and comfort.
In most cases, the cost of laser dentistry is similar to the cost of traditional dental surgery. In some cases, using the laser is necessary for successful treatment.
As there is a higher long-term success rate with laser dentistry, the likelihood of incurring additional costs from multiple treatments is decreased. Overall, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Since everyone does not present with the same issues, we urge you to schedule a consultation with Periodontal & Implant Associates so that we can review all the possibilities for you to make an informed decision about your healthcare options.
Periodontal & Implant Associates offers affordable third-party financing options from companies such as Care Credit, GreenSky and Lending Club (which provide various interest-free and fixed-rate plans).
For more information about specific insurance companies please see our page: Financial Options and Dental Insurance Information or contact our office and we will gladly discuss the best option for you.
To perform the LANAP procedure, a doctor must earn a LANAP Proficiency certificate.
LANAP certification requires comprehensive, hands-on, dentist-to-dentist training for a year at the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry (IALD). This in-depth training ensures that doctors are skilled to perform the LANAP protocol.
The award-winning dentists at Periodontal & Implant Associates are committed to excellence and exceeding the expectations of our patients.
The periodontists at Periodontal & Implant Associates have all completed extensive, hands-on, dentist-to-dentist training and have been certified to use the PerioLase MVP-7 dental laser.
Our team takes a personalized approach — the right treatment for you will depend on your situation, your comfort level, and your goals.
Periodontal & Implant Associates has 5 convenient locations so you should be able to find a LANAP provider near you.
Are you wondering whether LANAP surgery is right for you? We would love to answer your questions.
Please contact your nearest Periodontal & Implant Associates office and schedule a consultation today!
More information about the LANAP Protocol
Selectivity of the PerioLase MVP-7
LANAP Case Study: Saving Molars
Treating Periodontitis in an 18-year-old Patient
Further Reading about the LANAP Procedure:
Find a LANAP certified dentist near me
LANAP Laser gum surgery is a highly effective and non-invasive treatment for gum disease. This process has become popular because of its numerous benefits compared to traditional gum surgery — less pain, less bleeding, faster healing time, and a shorter recovery time.
Laser treatment is a great option for most dental patients, but it may not be the appropriate method for all cases.
The use of this laser is part of an overall treatment plan that involves oral hygiene instruction, adherence to maintenance care, and possibly other courses of action determined by your doctor.
If you’re interested in learning more about the LANAP protocol and finding out if LANAP is the best solution for your teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation by calling or emailing one of the following locations:
The periodontists at Periodontal & Implant Associates offer 5 convenient locations in the New Jersey area:
- Livingston: 340 E. Northfield Rd., Suite 2A Livingston, NJ 07039
Call: 973-992-8600 or Email Us
- Montclair: 90 Park St, Montclair, NJ 07042
Call: 973-744-1555 or Email Us
- Montville: 150 River Road, Suite K3 Montville, NJ 07045
Call: 973-541-1100 or Email Us
- Morristown: 310 Madison Ave., Suite 205 Morristown, NJ 07960
Call: 973-852-4600 or Email Us
- Randolph: 390 Route 10, Randolph, NJ 07869
Call: 973-361-6180 or Email Us