Dentists have a powerful new tool in the fight against periodontal disease: LANAP. LANAP, or laser-assisted new attachment procedure, offers a painless alternative to common treatments for periodontitis, like scaling and planning, and now, this laser treatment has been FDA-approved for tissue regeneration. If you are considering , here is what you need to know.
What Is LANAP?
LANAP uses pulsed light lasers to destroy bacteria associated with gum disease. During treatment, your dentist inserts a very thin laser fiber in the space between your teeth and gums. Once in place, the laser targets the bacteria that are causing the periodontitis, allowing your gums to heal with only minimal scaling to remove bacteria buildup. The laser is also used to promote clotting, so there is less blood loss than with other periodontal treatments. The procedure takes about two hours to treat half of the mouth, and patients usually require two appointments to complete the entire treatment. Generally, patients feel well enough to return to their usual activities right after LANAP treatment.
How Does LANAP Promote Tissue Regeneration?
In 2016, LANAP was FDA-approved to provide laser assisted regeneration or LAR. Tissue loss is one of the most devastating effects of gum disease. Periodontitis attacks the alveolar bone, cementum, and periodontal ligaments, causing tooth loss and changes in facial structure. FDA-clearance means that LANAP has been tested and sufficiently shown to regenerate tissue lost to periodontal disease, which ensures a more complete recovery. LANAP is believed to activate stem cells to form the foundation of regenerated tissue. This is the first time in history a device has been proven to regenerate tissue where no natural regeneration mechanism exists, and as such, the treatment could eventually have applications outside of periodontal disease.
What Are the Benefits for Patients?
Patients already benefitted from the LANAP procedure for their gum disease treatment because it was painless, effective, and caused minimal blood loss. The recognition of the tissue regeneration capability of LANAP means that patients may be able to recover from gum disease without bone grafts, foreign membranes, stitches, and biologics. This natural recovery minimizes the risks of side effects and future complications.