“What Is Laser Gum Treatment?”

Laser Gum treatment is an exciting treatment modality for treating and managing gum disease. Laser dentistry has been around for two decades, it is very useful in many applications on soft or hard tissues: the focused energy allows for precision treatment while minimizing pain and recovery time. Although only 6 to 7% of dental practices utilize laser technology so far, you may benefit greatly from laser dentistry.

Periodontal disease in particular is a fantastic candidate for laser treatment. The nature of periodontitis (gum disease) involves bacterial growth which affects the supporting structures of the teeth, destroying attachment tissues which create deep periodontal pockets that are not easily cleanable (causing the gum disease to progress). Gum tissue responds very well to laser energy, which removes diseased  linings in the periodontal pocket and also kills the bacteria. The laser-tissue interaction is thermal, controlled  energy  from the selected  tip of the laser fiber will evaporate the inflamed unhealthy  lining tissue ; its rising temperature will also kill any pathogen present in the tissue. The clean and less traumatic site becomes more efficient and comfortable for your healing. Other benefits of laser treatment include biostimulation (photo-biomodulation) on the  cellular level , which energizes damaged cells through  light receptors , allowing tissue to heal promptly!

The laser gum treatment is usually administered in conjunction with traditional scaling and root planning (SRP) services, performed with ultrasonic or hand instruments that remove toxic calculus from the root surface. Unlike more traditional methods which use a scaler to scrape away diseased tissue, the laser approach treats the diseased tissues with electromagnetic energy to ablate diseased tissues non-evasively, followed by irrigation with antiseptic solution (chlorhexidine) to flush away and clean the periodontal pockets. For more severe cases, localized placement of certain antibiotic agents (like Arestin minocyclinehydrochloride) inside the treated periodontal pocket can assure a complication-free healing process without systemic effects. Low level laser therapy can also be applied to decrease post-operative discomfort and promote healing through photo-biomodulation.

Laser gum treatment has provided tremendous patient benefits as I have witnessed since it has been incorporated into my practice  since 1997, but this treatment modality has raised some eyebrows in the periodontal community. It is difficult to establish a parameter with energy and expect  to have consistent result on different subjects; there are too many variables from the color, texture, composition and condition of the tissues, whether the origin of the cause has been managed and how the different laser energy is handled by various operators. There are studies which have proven different results, and over-promising commercials also exist which have discouraged development of laser gum treatment.

When properly conducted, laser gum treatment provides a cleaner and more comfortable site for healing.  The predictability of tissue regeneration, however, is too complicated for a blog discussion! I do recommend you go to a reliable, non-biased source like The Academy of Laser Dentistry to learn more about the benefits of laser treatment or referrals of certified laser dentists.

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