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Could laser procedure hold the key to gum disease treatment?

Posted by Joanne Mellor

More dental surgeries in the US are turning to new laser technology to help treat cases of gum disease.

The breakthrough treatment – called Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) makes use of lasers to kill off bacteria with the added benefit of not having to disturb healthy gum tissue connected to the problem area.

Traditionally, gum surgery involves removing an infection via the method of cutting into the gum tissue.

At the moment, only one per cent of dental surgeries in the US offer LANAP treatment as an option – however, several practices have revealed the availability of the procedure as an option in the last month.

The majority of patients are likely to experience only minimal discomfort during their treatment and bleeding is also likely to be extremely limited in comparison to previous methods.

On average, two visits to the dentist are required to complete the procedure – which lasts around two hours each time.

The non-invasive element of LANAP also means that there is next to no gum recession as a result of the treatment, unlike regular procedures which can reduce the gumline from between 2 to 15 mm.

In the event of the procedure becoming more widely used, it could eventually become accessible in the UK – at which point dental marketing would be an ideal way to advertise it being available at specific practices.

The advantages it offers over the more traditional treatment means that it could be used to attract more patients to a particular practice.

Gum disease is often something that patients are reluctant to speak to their dentist about – with a recent survey by MailOnline finding that only one in five people would contact a dental professional if they noticed anything different about their gums.

The NHS estimates that around half of the population will experience some form of the condition in their lifetime.

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