FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What to Expect: Your LANAP Surgery
LANAP periodontal surgery is a full-mouth procedure usually completed in two 2-hour visits. We complete one side of the mouth during the first visit, and complete the other side on the second visit. Surgeries are usually scheduled within few weeks of one another. It is common to quickly return to work or other activities.
- What to Expect: The First Few Days
You may experience mild aching, throbbing, and soreness of the treated areas for the first couple days—this can be helped with mild pain medications. The tissue around the teeth may appear discolored. Your bite may feel slightly different, but the teeth will adapt. You cannot brush or floss for the first 7-10 days after treatment, and you will need to follow a liquid or mushy diet. Smoking decreases results for all gum treatments, including LANAP.
- What to Expect: Follow-up Care
Expect to have your teeth professionally cleaned every three to four months for at least the first year, and then as recommended by your dentist.
- Who is a candidate for LANAP laser surgery?
Patients with moderate-to-severe gum disease can especially benefit from the LANAP protocol. The LANAP protocol is also an excellent treatment option for patients who are fearful of conventional scalpel surgery and patients taking certain medications, such as blood thinners. With the LANAP protocol, patients do not have to stop taking any medications.
- Why is it important to get my gum disease treated?
The health risks of gum disease go far beyond the loss of teeth. There is a connection between gum disease and a number of serious medical conditions. People with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease, and have nearly twice the risk of having a fatal heart attack. Gum disease has also been linked to other health problems, including respiratory disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, erectile dysfunction, HPV, and pregnancy complications.
- Can the LANAP protocol help my loose dental implants?
Yes! Using the PerioLase MVP-7, we can often save ailing or failing implants in a similar manner using the LAPIP™ protocol. We use the same laser, but different laser settings and light exposure that will help your implant stabilize while destroying periodontal pathogens and endotoxins.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?
A: The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.
Q: Is one toothpaste better than others?
A: Generally, no. However, it's advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease the incidence of dental decay. We recommend our patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride.
Q: How often should I floss?
A: Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.
Q: What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?
A: These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns". However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns".
Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?
A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.
Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?
A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. While fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and they also look better. However, "white" fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient.
Q: Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?
A: No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.