Laser Therapy for Treating Periodontal Disease
Lasers have been developed for many uses in the medicine, aviation, industry and the military. In medicine, lasers have replaced scalpels for many procedures. The focused light beam and heat can very precisely remove or sculpt soft or hard tissue. The heat also acts to kill pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms), giving the laser a second function as a disinfecting agent.
Lasers have been developed for many dental procedures, and their use has made treatments faster, more comfortable and minimally invasive. One area where they have made a significant impact is treating periodontal (gum) disease. Dr. Padolsky is an Atlanta dentist who has incorporated laser technology into gum disease treatment.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the tissues and erosion of teeth, gums and supporting bone. The bacteria forms a sticky film on the teeth and gums known as plaque. As plaque accumulates on the teeth and under the gum line, it forms hardened deposits of bacteria called calculus.
Those bacterial deposits have to be thoroughly removed to stop the deterioration of gum and bone and restore oral health. Gum disease also destroys the surface layers of gum tissue that attach to the tooth roots, and this diseased tissue must also be removed so new tissue can regenerate as part of the healing process.
A combination of hand instruments and ultrasonic scaling instruments strip bacterial deposits off the teeth. These deposits can go deep below the gum line. In some cases, the bacteria can penetrate below the point of gum attachment.
Sometimes the infection runs deep enough that simple removal of the plaque off the exposed tooth surfaces is inadequate. This is where periodontal surgery becomes necessary. And this is where Dr. Podolsky uses the dental laser.
In periodontal surgery, a small flap of gum tissue covering the tooth roots is pulled back so the deeply buried deposits of calculus can be removed. Though special scaling instruments are used to clean the deposits off the tooth roots, the laser is used to:
- remove the diseased surface layer of gum tissue
- kill any bacteria left after the deposits have been scaled off
- seal the gum tissue so it can heal rapidly
- stimulate the regeneration of new gum tissue and bone cells
The laser is precise. Only the targeted tissue is affected, and the surrounding tissue is not. Laser therapy also replaces the use of a scalpel for most of the surgery. Because of the laser’s actions, the procedure is less invasive, more comfortable and healing is faster than when traditional methods are used.
If you have inflamed gums, an abscess below your gum line, chronic bad breath, loose teeth, painful chewing or other symptoms of gum disease, you should see Dr. Padolsky for a complete examination as soon as possible. You don’t have to fear what might happen even if your situation is so severe that it requires some periodontal surgery. We’ve made that a far more efficient and comfortable experience.