Laser treatments have revolutionized various medical industries, and oral dental care is no exception. Under controlled studies according to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), results similar to traditional therapy have been achieved with the laser therapy. However, laser treatment has many advantages over traditional periodontal treatment. No general anesthetic is needed, lasers can target the diseased areas more accurately, there is minimal removal of healthy gum tissue, and healing times are shorter.
Understanding Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is an infection of the supporting tissues and bone that hold your teeth in place. According to research studies done by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NICDR), it’s not uncommon for periodontal disease to start in adults as early as 30 and is usually caused by:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Certain medications
- Genetic susceptibility
- Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be painless, so it’s important to be aware of any of the following symptoms:
- Swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums
- Gums that recede or move away from the tooth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
- Loose teeth
- Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
Traditional therapy for periodontal disease is scaling and root planing, which may be more invasive than laser cleaning. The purpose in removing tartar, plaque and bacteria from the gum surrounding the root, is to promote the healthy regeneration of the gum tissue.
How Periodontal Laser Therapy Works
In periodontal laser therapy, the dentist uses a dental laser to access and remove the inflamed gum tissue from around the root of the tooth. When the infected tissue is removed and the root is exposed, the root scaling begins. This involves scraping off the calculus and plaque built up below the gumline and around the root. The dentist can then smooth the root with instruments to remove any rough spots that might attract bacteria and cause future infections. The area between the gum and the root can then regenerate during the healing process. Because nearly all the gum tissue is saved, it ensures that there will be minimal loss of tooth and bone structure after the surgery. In fact, a positive side effect of laser periodontal gum surgery is that in many cases regeneration and reattachment of the gum tissue to the tooth and bone is possible.
Benefits of Laser Therapy
According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), using lasers the benefits outway the risks for excising diseased gum tissue:
- No general anesthetic is needed
- Lasers can target the diseased areas precisely and accurately
- Bleeding, pain and swelling are limited because periodontal laser therapy is less invasive than regular surgery
- Recovery and healing times are shorter
- Minimal removal of healthy gum tissue
- Elimination of bacteria and reduced inflammation within the mouth
You should do your research and due diligence before choosing a dental office. Laser periodontal therapy should always be performed by a qualified laser specialist. If your dental professional uses an inappropriate wavelength or power level, it could cause further damage to the periodontal tissue. We carefully vet the dentists in our programs to assure that they have the proper qualifications and experience.
Costs and Insurance Coverage
As with any periodontal patient the cost of laser therapy depends entirely on the extent of the patient’s gum disease, and our dentists are not willing to offer a price quote until they can examine you. Having laser therapy in Mexico may be less expensive than traditional surgery, because it requires fewer office visits and less medication. For example, the average national cost for laser periodontal therapy is between $4,000 to $10,000. The average cost for the same procedure performed by our vetted dentists is between $1,500 – $2,000.
As for insurance coverage, some dental insurance policies reimburse patients for periodontal disease treatment—regardless of the type of device used to perform it. So whether your dental professional uses traditional methods or lasers for treating you, the compensation is likely to be the same for the procedure. We recommend you check with your insurance provider before you decide.
Best Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
- Proper brushing and flossing
- Using antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash to kill bacteria
- Biannual dental visits for cleanings and checkups
The simple way to help prevent gum disease is maintain a good oral hygiene program after you undergo any type of periodontal therapy is critical to avoiding a recurrence of the inflammation.
Brush your teeth daily with a toothpaste designed to reduce plaque regrowth and help prevent the occurrence of gum disease and rinse regularly with an antimicrobial oral rinse, which offers prescription-strength healing for irritated gums. Avoid or stop smoking to reduce the risk of future infections, and follow any specific instructions from your dentist as closely as possible. If you have questions please contact us.