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| Laser Periodontal Therapy - LANAP in South Portland



                    MICHAEL T RUETTY DDS


                               [email protected]

Laser Perio Therapy

LASER PERIODONTAL THERAPY: Treatment for the 21st Century

  • 2.7 times more likely to have a heart attack.
  • 3 times more likely to have a stroke.
  • 7-8 times more likely to give birth to a premature baby with low birth weight.
  • Periodontal infection can raise blood sugar in a diabetic patient. Treatment can lower the need for insulin.
  • Periodontal bacteria can be transmitted from parent to child and from spouse to spouse

As you can see, gum disease in not just associated with tooth loss. It can be a very serious infection with consequences that adversely affect your overall health.

There are two stages of gum disease: Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Each of these has different degrees of severity.

Gingivitis is an infection involving the gums causing the gums to become red and swollen. This is an early stage of periodontal disease and is usually reversible with a professional cleaning and improved home care (brushing and flossing). Gingivitis that is left untreated progresses into a deeper infection called Periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a more severe infection involving the gums, bone and ligaments that surround the teeth and hold the teeth in place. The gums separate from the teeth forming pockets that fill up with more bacteria and become more infected. This infection also causes bone loss around the teeth. The teeth become loose and eventually can be lost. Treatment of the early stage of Periodontitis consists of a very through cleaning above and below the gums. This is called Scaling and Root planing and this procedure usually requires the use of a local anesthetic ("Novocain").

The more severe stage of Periodontitis is where there is significant bone loss and tooth mobility. To correct the damage to the bone and the gums a laser periodontal therapy called Laser assisted New Attachment Procedure or LANAP is needed.

The symptoms of Periodontitis are:

  • Red swollen gums that are tender and bleed easily.
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste.
  • Permanent teeth that are becoming loose.

This is a simple explanation for a very complex disease process.

The symptoms of Periodontitis are very subtle. Many people do not realize they have Periodontitis until it is well advanced in severity. As with other dental diseases, early diagnosis leads to treatment that is easier and much less expensive. This is one reason why regular check-ups and periodontal exams are very important.

Professional treatments for periodontal disease always involve the same overall objectives:

  • Stop the infection
  • Reduce or eliminate the bacteria
  • Reduce the pockets around the teeth
  • Maintain the results over time

Depending on the severity of disease, the depths of the pockets and the degree of bone loss around the teeth, various surgical treatment options have been available for many years. While these conventional surgical options have been effective for many people, as with any surgical procedure, there are drawbacks. And, despite our best efforts, conventional surgical treatments have never been able to totally eliminate the bacteria that cause the infection. Recurrence of disease has been a problem.


Since 2007 this office has used a laser surgical procedure which has been approved by the FDA for treating gum disease. In fact, this is the only dental device which has received multiple levels of FDA clearance in the treatment of periodontal disease. And the procedure for its use has been developed through years of study, and is patented. This Nd:YAG laser has been used for over 20 years in medicine for various purposes. Applied to periodontal treatment, the laser has proven extremely effective:

  • Stops the infection
  • Eliminates the bacteria completely
  • Pocket reduction as good as conventional treatments
  • Better maintenance of results over time

And, because the laser is very selective in its effects:

  • No incisions
  • No stitches
  • No post-op bleeding
  • No swelling
  • Minimal or No pain
  • No gum recession
  • No tooth sensitivity
  • No cosmetic changes
  • No lost time from work or other activities

Laser periodontal treatment has proven to be extremely effective for most patients without any of the drawbacks of conventional surgical treatment.


  • There is no cutting and no suturing.
  • There is much less discomfort with LPT than with conventional periodontal surgery; both during and after the procedure.
  • It takes less time than the conventional periodontal treatment. Fewer appointments and less time overall.
  • None of the post-surgical complications and drawbacks associated with conventional scalpel surgery.
  • Excellent, long-lasting results.
  • Rapid recovery, no disruption to your normal schedule.
  • Safe for patients with health concerns such as diabetes, bleeding disorders, or those medications such as blood thinners, cyclosporine or chemotherapy agents.


  1. A deep periodontal pocket, with loss of bone, and tartar on the root surface is determined to be present.
  2. The laser selectively removes the infected gum tissue that lines the pocket wall, removing unhealthy tissue that lines the pocket for improved access to the pocket and the root surface.
  3. Tartar and other debris is removed from the root surface, and rinsed out of the pocket.
  4. The laser is used again to kill any bacteria or toxins that remain on the root surface or in the gum tissue, completely disinfecting the area.
  5. The gum tissue is readapted back to the root surface and is sealed to the root surface with a dense fibrin clot. We have a very small, sterile wound area that is now sealed shut.
  6. The bite is adjusted to eliminate any trauma to the tooth, and to balance out the chewing forces throughout the region.
  7. Complete healing results in pocket depth reduction through reattachment of the gum tissue and connective tissue back to the root surface.

For additional information visit Millennium Dental Techologies, Inc.

Also, see post-op instuctions for more information.

South Portland Dentist | Laser Periodontal Therapy - LANAP. Michael Ruetty is a South Portland Dentist.