Perio Perfect

A no cut, no sew, no fear laser alternative for the treatment of periodontitis

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A no cut, no sew, no fear laser alternative for the treatment of periodontitis

by Dawn Bloore, DDS

Trained by muscle memory, Pat’s lopsided smile guarded her diseased teeth from view. Pat wasn’t a dental phobic until she was faced with surgery as the only option to treat her teeth, which were ravaged by periodontal disease. Loose and migrated, her teeth had 11 mm pockets, and she was most concerned that her front tooth would soon be in her hands. Pat had long since given up on dentistry until she heard about something she could only have dreamed possible – LANAP™ (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure), the no cut, no sew, no fear laser alternative for the treatment of periodontitis.

Pat is only one of the hundreds of periodontal patients I have treated during the past six years with the most rewarding dentistry I have ever performed. Removing the fear factor has opened up a world of possibilities for healthy smiles to a vast and underserved population of periodontal patients. Pat, for one, finally has the smile she has always wanted and no longer fears that she will lose her teeth. Her periodontium has been disease-free for more than six years! Suddenly there is hope – new attachment, new smile, no fear.

So many of these patients had lost hope and fallen into the periodontal abyss ... like Irene, a 62-year-old professional female. No dentistry for 25 years led to embarrassing halitosis, edematous and purulent tissue, Type 4 perio, generalized 6 to 12 mm pockets, and Class II+ mobility. Irene was treated one time with full-mouth LANAP.

Now, four years later, she hasn’t lost any teeth, there are no 4+ mm pockets, she has generalized and remarkable bone fill, increased CAL (clinical attachment level), firm, pink tissue, no BOP (bleeding on probing), and no mobility. Co-workers no longer retreat from malodor. At her last appointment, I confirmed Irene’s diagnosis of chronic and uncontrollable smiling with confidence. She wouldn’t dream of missing an appointment!

Cathy, a 49-year-old mother of five, was more frustrated than fearful. Her prior history of SRP and conventional full-mouth surgery for advanced periodontal disease had left her with long teeth and a smile tarnished with dark spaces. Cathy’s dentist had just informed her that she needed full-mouth surgery again when she found me.

“There’s nothing left to cut away!” she told me. “There’s got to be another way.”

Three years later, after one treatment of full-mouth LANAP™, Cathy is thrilled to be periodontally healthy with no further loss of tissue height. Her plans to restore her smile from prior surgery will be just in time for her husband’s return from military service this year.

Those three patients alone generated more than $15,000 of LANAP practice income with virtually no additional overhead. They each referred two patients who needed the same treatment and stayed to complete the rest of their dentistry. As a certified instructor and training director for the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry, I hear from doctors nationwide, “LANAP is the most gratifying treatment I have ever offered to the most appreciative patients, especially with our awareness of the association of periodontitis as a risk factor for a growing number of systemic disease processes.”

LANAP is the world’s first patented periodontal protocol using the FDA-cleared PerioLase® MVP-7, with an outcome claim of “cementum-mediated ligament attachment to the root surface in the absence of long junctional epithelium.” This consistent regeneration of lost periodontal structures is what makes the PerioLase MVP-7 (a free-running pulsed Nd:YAG laser manufactured by Millennium Dental Technologies) more than just a fancy, high-tech tool among many. Rather, it is the laser with the specific wavelength, parameters, and patented treatment protocol that has the breakthrough application treating a problem for which it is the unique solution.

The problem is rampant, too. According to Michael Newman, DDS, PhD, adjunct professor of periodontics, UCLA School of Dentistry (Seventh Annual Conference on Periodontal Surgery), in the United States alone, more than 75 percent of the more than 200 million adults have some form of gum disease, and 50 percent suffer from moderate to severe periodontitis. The dismal and appalling truth is that only about 3 percent to 5 percent of these people actually seek treatment for their ailment as compared to the overall dental utilization rate of 50 percent. Why are so few people receiving treatment for their gum disease? Because they don’t like their treatment options! Who would, really? Cutting, scraping, sewing, swelling, pain, long, ugly, and sensitive teeth just don’t “fly” anymore for patients living in the 21st century. With so many advancements in medical and dental care, it’s no surprise that patients are not eager to choose conventional periodontal treatment that has not changed substantially over time, especially in critical ways relative to patient perception and acceptance. Our patients are looking for another way.

The challenge of treating these underserved patients finally has a glimmer of hope, an amplified light at the end of the tunnel ... LASER light that is! Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation has its roots in the minds and accomplishments of laser pioneers such as Albert Einstein and Theodore Maiman. But this incredible technology has long been touted as a solution seeking a problem.

Put simply, LANAP follows the fundamentals of wound healing with amazing consistency and reproducibility. The results are dramatic and stable. It works; it produces practice revenue; it provides what patients want – a no cut, no sew, no fear alternative; and its FDA clearance and human histology make it part of the standard of care for the treatment of periodontitis.

Still, what impresses me the most are the words I hear time and time again from my patients, “Doctor, this is exactly what I was looking for but didn’t know existed.” Without a doubt, this is the answer to the challenge of reaching the underserved periodontal patients, and I am honored to be another custodian of that goal.

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Dawn Bloore, DDS, is a practicing California dentist. She is the VP, training director for the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry and a Certified Laser Instructor at Millennium Dental Technologies. She is a fourth generation dentist who attended Loyola Marymount University and UCLA School of Dentistry. You may reach Dr. Bloore at dbloore@millenniumdental.com.

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