Laser Periodontal Procedures

Another development in periodontal treatment is the use of certain types of lasers to minimally invasively remove excess tissues (such as overgrown gum tissues or the muscular attachments between the lips and the gums) and other types to regenerate lost bone and gum tissue due to periodontal disease.

LANAP/LAR™

Dr. A. Margarita Saenz utilize the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP™) or more recently named Laser Assisted Regeneration (LAR™). Performed without a scalpel and sutures, LANAP/LAR™ creates an environment for regeneration of the tissues around your teeth (gum, bone, cementum, ligament) that are lost due to periodontal disease. It utilizes the body’s own natural ability to “heal itself”.

The laser therapy works by targeting only diseased gum, which is discerned by the color. Diseased gums are darker than healthy gums. The laser is then used to stimulate the healthy tissue, encouraging it to regenerate and reattach. Because of the regrowth of bone and connective tissue, there is also a lower chance of gum disease returning than with traditional surgery.

Due to the ability of the laser to target and remove only diseased tissue, Dr. Saenz is able to help restore you to health with minimal to no post-operative pain and fewer side effects and risks than traditional surgery. This is in conjunction with a detailed homecare program that is described below.

LANAP/LAR™ Post-Operative Instructions

  • Anti-microbial rinses and antibiotic medications may be prescribed for you. Take any prescribed medications according to directions and continue taking until all meds are gone.
  • Reduce physical activity for several hours following surgery.
  • For the first 24-hour period immediately following surgery, take 800 mg of Advil or Motrin (Ibuprofen) every 8 hours even if you do not have any pain.
  • For the first 24-hour period immediately following laser therapy stay on a liquid diet only. For the following 3-7 days after surgery, a soft diet is recommended. Try to eat soft but nutritious foods such as eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, protein shakes, etc. Stay away from spicy, chewy and crispy foods. It is also important to maintain good fluid intake during this period.
  • Carefully avoid chewing food in the areas of the mouth where the laser has been used for at least one week following surgery. One of the most important results of laser surgery is the blood clots that form following surgery. It is extremely important not to dislodge the tiny blood clots that form in and around the gums.
  • Do not be alarmed with any color changes or appearance of tissues following laser therapy. Tissues can be gray, yellow, red, blue, purple, “stringy” and reflect normal response to laser treatments.
  • It is OK to spit and rinse gently today. If you have a full mouth procedure a rinse will be provided to you. Use it 2-3 times a day starting tomorrow. It is OK to rinse gently every three (3) hours with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 4 oz. of warm water). Do not brush or floss your teeth until instructed to do so.
  • Try to keep your mouth as clean as possible in order to help the healing process.  Brush, floss, and follow other home care measures in all the areas of your mouth except for the surgery area.
  • Do not apply excessive tongue or cheek pressure to the surgery area.

Do not be alarmed if one of the following occurs:

  • Light bleeding
  • Slight swelling
  • Some soreness, tenderness, or tooth sensitivity

Please call the office at (504) 831-0800 if you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Prolonged or severe pain
  • Prolonged or excessive bleeding
  • Considerably elevated or persistent temperature

Do not be alarmed if after therapy and extending as long as one year or more, the teeth may become sore, tender, or sensitive as the bone and ligaments around the teeth regenerate and become firmer.  This is a sign of healing, but may also indicate the presence of a bite imbalance that may need to be adjusted.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call us at (504) 831 0800.