825 S Waukegan Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045

How Can Dentists Treat Advanced Gum Disease?

Lake Forest, Lake Bluff IL

Until recently, dentists and periodontists have treated the worst cases of advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, with surgery. During this procedure, a “flap” is cut from sections of gums, making it possible to scrape the bone underneath and remove any underlying disease. Sutures are then used to reconnect the gums to the teeth.

The treatment is known to be uncomfortable and lengthy. Oftentimes treatment is broken into segments so that a portion of the mouth is left unaffected to make usual activities such as drinking, chewing and talking more tolerable. Unfortunately because of the discomfort involved, patients sometimes don’t return for treatment on the remaining sections of their mouths.

As advancements in dental technology have led to breakthrough developments in how dental practices treat issues like misaligned, missing or chipped teeth, they’re now also leading to groundbreaking treatments for gum disease, which has been linked to serious health risks like heart disease and stroke. One such procedure is called Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP), and it’s taking the dental world by storm for its ability, through cutting-edge laser technology, to treat advanced gum disease quicker and with less associated pain than traditional surgery.

Lake Forest Smiles is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Tracey Hughes and LANAP to our team! Dr. Hughes has studied and trained extensively to bring LANAP to our office and the Lake Forest area.

Let’s look a bit deeper at what LANAP is and how it works:

LANAP: the procedure

Our patients now have access to a procedure that removes gum disease and regenerates new, healthy gum tissue with no surgery or stitches involved.

Instead of having to cut the gums to assess the level of disease, our team can use a non-invasive probe to determine the disease’s progression, including the depth of pockets in the gum caused by infection-causing bacteria. A laser targets any bacteria on the teeth, which is the source of tartar build-up and infection that leads to gum disease. Where traditional surgery uses scalpels to scrape disease from gum tissue, LANAP incorporates ultrasound scalers to remove tartar build-up. The laser is also used in place of traditional sutures to stimulate the soft tissue, bone and root, leading to tissue regeneration and a strong reattachment of the gums to the teeth.

Finally, the tooth surfaces are adjusted, smoothing problem areas to correct the bite and ensure that teeth haven’t endured significant trauma.

How long does the procedure take?

LANAP usually takes under two hours. Depending on severity, a second treatment may be required. Recovery takes a fraction of the time as traditional surgery.

LANAP for Periodontal Disease in Lake Forest, IL

LANAP is quicker and less painful than surgery and boasts a shorter recovery time. Only periodontists and dentists who have undergone extensive training through the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry are qualified to use LANAP lasers, and we are proud that Dr. Hughes is now offering this valuable service to the Lake Forest area. If you’re suffering from gum disease — whether in its initial form as gingivitis or full-blown advanced periodontitis — give our office a call at (847) 234-4800. We can intervene to stop gum disease from advancing, or, if it’s already advanced, we can address the disease to get you started on your journey to healing and health.

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