Nd:Yag Laser Enhanced Gum Treatment
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue and bone that support your teeth. This process begins when your inflamed gum tissue forming gum pockets. As bacteria grow and accumulate at the bottom of your gum pockets because you could not brush or clean them, they create an inflammation process and the release of toxins. These toxins cause the destruction of your jaw bone resulting in bleeding gum, receding gum, bone loss, bad breath, root decay, and may affect your cardiovascular system or your heart.
There is no cure for periodontal disease. There are only ways to eliminate the bacteria from your pocket to stabilize your periodontal disease. These include pocket reduction surgery, regular scaling and root planning, local Arestin antibiotic, systemic Periostat antibiotic, Amoxicillin and Metronidazole antibiotics, Peridex rinse, and Nd:Yag laser enhance gum treatment.
Periodontal bacteria are sensitive to the wavelength and duration of Nd:Yag laser. Nd:Yag laser has shown, scientifically, improvement of your gum tissue. This reduces the bleeding and bacteria.
Nd:Yag Laser Enhanced Gum treatment
is usually recommended to be done at the time that you have your teeth scale and root plan to improve the effectiveness of the procedure.
Common questions and answers with regard to Nd:Yag Laser Gum treatment
- What is it?
This is a recent development in which a special laser is used after normal deep scaling to help the gums heal and kill the bacteria which causes gum (periodontal) disease.
- What does this special laser do?
The laser ( a neodymium YAG ) emits a light which when applied to the diseased gum tissue helps kill the bacteria that infects the gums.
- Is this treatment experimental?
- But can’t deep cleaning, prescription rinses, and antibiotics do the same thing?
The deep cleaning (also called scaling) cleans the teeth. Initially the rinses and antibiotics work, but over time, they lose their effectiveness (the bacteria begin to develop resistance to them) whereas the bacteria which cause gum disease cannot develop a resistance to the laser. Also the bacteria which cause gum problems infect the gums to a depth of up to 4 millimeters laterally to the tooth. The effective distance of the laser is greater than 4 millimeters, and it effectively kills nearly all the bacteria in its path.
- What results should I expect?
Routine scaling is often not enough to help the healing process when you have gum disease. Even after scaling, many experience bleeding gums. After treatment (and healing) with the Nd YAG laser, you will notice your gums don’t bleed anymore (some times a second treatment is necessary to treat certain small areas which did not respond the first time). Of course after laser assisted gum treatment, routine cleanings and exams are necessary to keep the gums healthy.
- Will the laser hurt my gums?
The laser is special in that the gums are transparent to the light and hence little or no harm is done by it, whereas the bacteria which cause gum disease are not, and effectively are killed by the laser light. We routinely numb you to make the experience more pleasant.
- But my other dentist and hygienist use a laser when they clean my teeth, so what’s so special about this laser?
What your dentist/hygienist uses is a diode laser. This is a very different laser. The diode laser removes the inner lining of the gums surrounding the teeth by heat. This removes only a small portion of the bacteria infecting your gums and does only a little to help your gums heal. This is why your dentist/hygienist needs to apply the diode laser treatment over and over again ( every visit ), where in most cases the neodymium YAG laser needs only to be applied once or twice for lasting effects. The reach of the diode laser is only tenths of a millimeter, whereas the Nd YAG laser can reach over 4 millimeters safely and effectively neutralize the bacteria which cause gum disease. Something the diode laser cannot. To use the diode laser to get the same results as the Nd YAG laser, the gums would be burned and scarred. The diode laser works by burning the gum tissue and the bacteria (no selectivity) whereas the Nd YAG laser selectively targets the bacteria causing gum disease and not the gums. This is the major difference.
- What about the other lasers I’ve heard about such as Biolase and Waterlase ? Don’t they do the same thing?
Those lasers are for cutting hard and soft tissue. They do not have the specificity to kill the bacteria that cause gum disease effectively. Used by themselves for treating gum disease, they cause a lot of collateral damage to the surrounding structures. They are nowhere near as effective as the Nd/YAG laser. Those lasers are akin to trying to put out a house fire with a garden hose, whereas the Nd/YAG is like calling the fire department.
- Will I have a lot of pain after the laser treatment?
Most of the patients that undergo this treatment experience none or only minor soreness afterwards. This usually goes away after a day or two. We advise Tylenol or over the counter Ibuprofen for the discomfort.
- Is the treatment expensive?
The cost of the treatment is well within reason, please contact CDG for your treatment costs.
- Will my insurance pay for this laser treatment?
Some dental insurance may include this procedure in your plan of benefits.
- Do all dentists use this Nd YAG laser?
No, only a select few use this laser.
- Why is that?
Lasers are fairly new to dentistry. There are many different types of lasers, and to be knowledgeable in the most recent advancements in laser dentistry is a formidable task. You are fortunate to have chosen a dentist knowledgeable in lasers used to effectively treat gum disease.