Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure
Traditional gum surgery involves cutting away some of the gum tissue and reshaping the bone underneath. With LANAP, Dr. Nattkemper is able to treat patients' periodontal disease with his specialized laser to destroy the bacteria which cause disease and selectively eliminate diseased tissue within the pocket surrounding the root, so that the connective tissues can heal and form a new attachment to the root--like the attachment they had before the pocket developed in the first place. The use of the laser is a less traumatic alternative to traditional periodontal gum surgery as there is no cutting or suturing. Our patients experience a faster, easier recovery with minimal postoperative pain, bleeding and swelling. Most patients can go back to work the same day.
Please click on this link for a brief overview of patient benefits of laser periodontal therapy:
New technologies are impacting every aspect of medicine and dentistry. Techniques and limitations of what was possible in periodontal therapy even ten years ago have changed dramatically. One of the most exciting innovations in medicine and dentistry has been the introduction of laser technology in a variety of surgical and non-surgical applications. Most people are familiar with developments in the field of vision correction, particularly for near-sightedness. Benjamin Franklin and many other inventors over the past few hundred years have developed and improved upon the use of various glass lenses, bifocal lenses etc. for those suffering from vision problems to see adequately. The concept of contact lenses was first proposed by Leonardo de Vinci in 1508—later brought to reality by German ophthalmologist Adolf Fick in 1888. Radial keratotomy was brought about in the early 1960’s, refined through the 1980’s and 90’s. Since then, laser technology has revolutionized vision correction, through procedures such as Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelium Keratomileusis (LASEK), Customized TransEpithelial Non-contact ablation (C-Ten) and Laser thermal keratoplasty (LTK). All of these procedures, along with other laser surgical procedures, provide enhanced safety over previous corrective eye surgeries and an improved quality of life for patients who would otherwise have to wear corrective lenses or be unable to see.
Laser technology is also revolutionizing many procedures and paradigms in dentistry. Lasers are now used in detection and removal of caries (dental decay), excision of soft as well as hard tissues in the mouth (including esthetic crown lengthening), and a variety of procedures to help dentists take accurate impressions of teeth for crowns and other restorations. In addition, lasers are now being used to enhance or take the place of many “traditional” periodontal surgical procedures.
Dr. Nattkemper uses a specific laser—the MVP-7 Periolase—to perform a variety of periodontal and other intraoral soft tissue surgical procedures. The most revolutionary of these procedures is the only patented, FDA-tested and approved periodontal surgical procedure, ever. Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, or LANAP, provides elimination of pathogenic bacteria in the periodontal tissues and adjacent root surfaces, provides visualization of the diseased root surfaces for elimination of calculus (tartar), and reattachment and regeneration of the periodontal tissues to the root. No incision is made, and no sutures are required. MIcroultrasonic instruments and special micro curettes are used under magnification to thoroughly cleanse the root surfaces during this procedure.
If progression of periodontal therapeutic regimens over the past 70 years were summarized in a sentence, it would read something like this: Removal of diseased tissues and teeth (1940’s-60) gave way to resection and recontouring of the gum tissues and bone (1960’s-85); this was followed by a multitude of surgical flap procedures for regenerating tissues lost or destroyed to disease (1980’s-2000’s), and now, regeneration of the periodontal attachment apparatus (bone, connective tissue, and the attachment of these to the teeth) via the laser assisted new attachment procedure.
The progress of these regimens mean some very significant things: fifty years ago, if you went to the periodontist and had advanced bone loss, he or she would recommend extractions, would recommend gingivectomies to remove “excess” tissue, and the results would leave your mouth forever changed—with long roots, significant problems with sensitivity, huge spaces between your teeth. Twenty years ago, many teeth would be retained that before would have been extracted. However, the flap procedures and bone grafting would again leave many exposed roots, larger spaces, and very sensitive teeth. LANAP is not magic, and it cannot “save” all teeth. However, it has been proven effective at stopping periodontal disease. In most cases it eliminates or significantly reduces periodontal “pockets”, produces only a fraction of the recession and problems with increased interdental spaces seen with traditional periodontal procedures, and patients treated with LANAP only experience mild, if any, temperature sensitivity. Those patients return to normal activities more quickly and comfortably than with flap procedures as well.
For Dr. Nattkemper, the improved comfort, esthetics and control of periodontal disease LANAP provides is tremendously rewarding and exciting. When combined with use of magnification—Dr. Nattkemper utilizes the operating microscope or high-power loupe magnification when performing this therapy—LANAP produces a highly predictable improvement in periodontal health, with a minimum of postoperative discomfort.
Dr. Nattkemper has received personal, one-on-one training in LANAP from the two most knowledgeable and experienced periodontists performing LANAP therapy in the world--Drs. Ray Yukna and Lloyd Tilt. He invites you to read more about this procedure and about Dr. Ray Yukna, who also has been actively involved in research and ongoing studies regarding this therapy for the past decade:
Dr. Yukna: http://www.uchsc.edu/sod/faculty%20bios/yukna.htm