Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapyddssyracuse2015-09-23T17:42:40+00:00
The First Stage
The first step is measuring the gum pockets to assess for the presence and severity of periodontal disease. This is a critical step and is the most important step in classifying the type of periodontal disease and guides how treatment will be delivered to be most effective.
The Second Stage
The next stage is anesthetizing the area to be treated for patient comfort and ability to adequately treat the areas needed.
The Third Stage
The third stage involves the first use of the laser. Laser energy is absorbed by both pigment and water. Since the bacteria involved are pigmented they absorb the laser energy and are destroyed. Furthermore, the unhealthy gum tissue is very inflamed. This inflamed tissue contains more blood than healthy tissue. Since blood is pigmented, the unhealthy tissue is ablated (removed). The laser, at this step, is gently inserted in and out of the pockets to kill bacteria and remove diseased tissues. In addition, toxins are destroyed and healing is promoted. Also, the plaque and tartar present are modified by the laser energy to facilitate easier removal during the next step.
Now all of the pockets are scaled with an ultrasonic scaling device which also irrigates the tissues with an antibacterial liquid to further promote disinfection of the pockets and healing of the gum tissues. This step is so important because it is when the plaque and tartar are actually removed from the teeth. Due to the ultrasonic vibrating motion, the teeth are able to be cleaned more easily and effectively than traditional hand scaling with the “metal scrapers.” The vibration and antibacterial liquid also facilitate flushing of the pockets. Some hand scaling may be done at this time, but it is minimal.
The Final Stage
The last step involves the second use of the laser. The laser is used again in the same fashion to treat the tissue and bacteria at the very bottom of the pocket, which may have been covered by some of the plaque, tartar or diseased tissue that existed prior to the ultrasonic scaling. Also, at this time a blood clot is formed at the base of each pocket. This blood clot contains fibers, which promote reattachment of the gum tissue to the teeth.
At this time, the treatment is complete. The patient is seen every 3 months for maintenance appointments where selective use of the laser and ultrasonic scalers may be used. Some patients with more severe periodontal disease may need to be seen every 3 months for life while others who show maintenance of excellent gingival health may “graduate” to regular cleanings every 6 months.
Of course twice daily brushing (preferably with an electric toothbrush) and daily flossing are a necessity to the prevention of relapse!