Are you afraid of flap surgery? Say goodbye to traditional surgery.
If you are suffering from a periodontal disease (Gum disease) and have been advised a flap surgery, you ought to know the various types of surgeries available to treat the disease effectively. In the past, the options presented to patients for treatment were limited to traditional flap surgery; that involved the use of scalpel and sutures-, at times scaling and root planing, deep cleanings, or antibiotics were a part of the treatment. In the modern era, with advancements in medicine and dentistry, we now have the best alternative to gum disease treatment known as LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure).
Flap Surgery and LANAP
We will walk you through the difference between the traditional flap surgery and LANAP, so that you can safely choose for yourself the best treatment.
Flap Surgery – With the use of a scalpel, the gum that obstructs the clear view and access to the pockets are pushed aside, in other words, they are lifted or folded back in the form of a flap. The dentist now has unrestrained access to the roots and the bone supporting the teeth and the diseased tissue will then be removed. Once done, the surgery is completed by sewing the gums into their original positions either by use of dissolvable stitches or other stitches that need to be removed in 7-10 days. (In many cases, the additional use of bone grafting will be needed in order to achieve reattachment of the gum tissue to the root surface of the tooth.)
LANAP- LANAP does not make use of sutures or blades and is a minimally invasive surgery that results in very little recession and pain for the patient. The laser operates at a wavelength that can tell the difference between the diseased tissue and the healthy tissue. The laser light is then directed accurately and precisely at the infectious tissue via a very small fiber optic and wisely removes the infected pocket epithelium from the underlying connective tissue.
Bottom line, the bacteria and the diseased tissue will be removed from your gums harming, cutting, or removing healthy tissue!
Here are some key differences between traditional Flap surgery and LANAP:
- Discomfort level – If you read the above overview of the traditional surgery, you can fairly judge the pain levels. Yes, it can be more painful and would need some pain medication and also a longer healing time. On the other hand, LANAP laser gum surgery involves much less pain and discomfort, so much so, there is no need to prescribe pain medication and the patients can walk right back to their normal routine.
- Gingival recession – In traditional gum surgery, there is no getting away from the gum line being reduced as blades are used in performing the surgery. Wondering how much of the gum line can be receded? According to dental research, it can be anywhere up to 10-15mm. Since LANAP is much less invasive and more selective in the tissue that it removes, there is little to no recession of the gum line
- Healing Time – In the traditional method, the healing process might take a good 15 days or more as after the surgery, you may have some bleeding and swelling. Sometimes, there is a risk that you could develop an infection too. The same is not the case with LANAP. The healing time is faster as the laser kills the bacteria in your pockets which results in the reduction of inflammation any infection or damage to healthier tissue.
Unarguably, although Flap surgery has been used to treat and rid periodontal disease for years, it is no longer regarded as the most effective treatment available. LANAP offers incredibly immense benefits that are superior to traditional gum surgery also, a vast majority of patients that we see opt for the less invasive and more comfortable LANAP.
So, isn’t it time you bid goodbye to traditional surgery?
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