Ask the Dentist
Dear Dr. Winter,
I have been told by my dentist to have laser surgery to fix my gum disease.
Can you comment on whether this is safe and if it is better than the deep cleanings I have been getting for years?
We now have a CO2 Superpulsed laser at Hampton Dental Associates. The CO2 laser is the most widely studied laser on the market today with the most University supported articles outlining their safety and effectiveness. I can tell you that lasers are wonderful tools in dentistry if they are used correctly. The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs has recently published a position paper on lasers and how they are used in dentistry.
Some of the salient points of their paper are as follows:
“There are currently more than twenty cleared indications for use for dental lasers in the United States. According to the ADA position paper: “The dental literature indicates that when “lasers” are used as an adjunct to meticulous root planing, mechanical or chemical curettage (i.e., the intentional removal of the epithelial lining of the sulcus) (lasers) offer no consistent benefit beyond scaling and root planing alone with respect to gain of the periodontal attachment.
Additional clinical data from properly designed clinical trials with adequate sample sizes are still required before it can be known to what extent LANAP (Laser assisted new attachment procedures) are safe and effective across the spectrum of patients with chronic periodontitis.”
So while lasers can be used for removing lesions, performing frenectomies (removing tissue that holds tongues or lips down) and many other soft tissue applications it has not been found to definitively treat gum disease. If our readers wish to be seen for evaluation of Drs. Richard and Bruce Winter soft tissue problems, melanin pigment removal, frenectomies or evaluation and treatment of gum problems we invite them to call us for an examination at 414-464-9021.
We offer complimentary implant, mini-implant consultations as well as advanced cosmetic or reconstructive consultations for our readers.
Yours for great dental health,
Master Academy of General Dentistry
Diplomate International Congress of Oral Implantologists
Diplomate American Board of Oral Implantologists
Fellow American Academy of Implant Dentistry
Associate Professor Marquette Dental School