As a treatment for moderate to severe gum disease, laser gum surgery has grown in favor in recent years. “laser” means “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.”
Your dentist can recommend laser surgery as an additional step if you’ve already had standard scaling and root planing.
Depending on your situation, your dentist may advise laser gum surgery instead of non-laser options like gum flap surgery. Additionally, gum contouring for cosmetic reasons, which can address problems like a “gummy” smile, can be done with a laser during other dental procedures.
The FDA has approved laser use for several dental procedures, including periodontic, endodontic, oral surgery, and teeth whitening. Despite the American Dental Association’s lack of approval, some research indicates that laser gum surgery is a safe and effective treatment of various dental conditions, including gum disease.
According to a review of recent studies by the American Academy of Periodontology, when laser therapy is used properly, there may be a small advantage over conventional treatments. The group did note that there is a lack of evidence and suggested more research into the usage of lasers.
If you decide to have this operation, speaking with a periodontist who has received training in laser technology is essential.
What is the price of laser gum surgery?
The price of laser gum surgery to treat gum disease might vary based on several variables, including the degree of the necessary care and your location.
Your provider might reimburse you for some expenses if you have dental insurance. Before scheduling the procedure, some clinics may also provide a free consultation that may include X-rays, which can range in price from $50 to several hundred dollars.
Before laser gum surgery, if scaling and planning are required, the cost may range from $200 for one quadrant to $1,500 or more for the entire mouth.
The LANAP (laser-assisted new attachment procedure) protocol may be used during laser gum surgery. The team at Advanced Dental Arts in New York City estimates that this operation can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,650 for each quadrant.
Since laser surgery is regarded as a cosmetic procedure, insurance is unlikely to cover the cost if you choose to have it done to fix a gummy smile. Laser gummy smile surgery can run between $675 and $875 per tooth, although prices vary.
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What is the process of laser gum surgery?
Laser technology, which uses concentrated beams of heat energy to complete various tasks, is frequently employed in gum surgery. The advantages of laser technology include:
- Cut away any injured tissue to remove it.
- Cauterizing blood arteries help in clotting.
- Get rid of germs and other microbes.
- Clean up the harmed area.
A shift in the energy states of atoms is how lasers work. In particular, laser light induces the transition of atoms from their ground state to an excited state, which releases energy in the form of spontaneous emission.
The atoms gradually revert to their initial state and release photons, which are light particles. Because of this method of energy transfer, lasers can cut tissue without using a conventional scalpel.
The laser gum surgery process
Gum disease is frequently treated with the laser-assisted new attachment method or LANAP. A laser, a device about the size of three human hairs, is used throughout the process.
To remove the diseased and inflamed gum tissue, your periodontist will place the fiber optic tip of the laser at the top of the periodontal pocket. The laser removes only the diseased tissue, not harming healthy gum tissue. The laser also cleanses the periodontal pocket of bacteria and pathogens.
The periodontist will use an ultrasonic cleaning device to break up and remove tartar and calcifications with sound waves after removing the bacteria and damaged tissue. The bottom of the pocket will then be completely cleaned, and any leftover dirt will be removed before the laser is reinserted. In addition to sterilizing the nearby bone and tissue, the laser encourages the creation of a blood clot. There is no need for stitches because the blood clot speeds up healing and reattaches the gum tissue to the tooth.
It may be necessary to arrange for two separate appointments, each lasting one to two hours if you’re having the operation done on your entire mouth. Alternatively, one quadrant can be finished in about one to two hours.
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Procedure for laser gummy smile surgery
What to anticipate if you decide to have gummy smile surgery is as follows:
Your periodontist will first carry out a scaling and root planing procedure to address these problems if your excess gum tissue is brought on by inflammation or infection.
Afterward, a periodontist or an orthodontist might shape and contour your gums using a soft tissue laser. The extra gum tissue is removed during the laser operation and cauterized.
Your dental professional may also sculpt the jawbone beneath using a laser for the best results. Gummy smile surgery can be a minimally invasive and efficient way to help you get the smile you want if a soft tissue laser is used.
Targeted areas for treatment
Any quadrant of the mouth can undergo laser gum surgery, which uses specialized lasers to treat soft tissue.
Laser surgeries can also be done on the teeth in addition to treating gum tissue. These precise techniques can fix dental problems, including tooth decay removal and shape. Dental operations can now be conducted with less discomfort and quicker recovery times compared to conventional approaches because of advancements in laser technology.
Are there any risks or side effects?
Lasers fall into a variety of kinds, and each one has unique uses and restrictions.
Different wavelengths and energies are used in laser technology to achieve its goals. The gums could be harmed if the laser used is ineffective for the purpose at hand. Therefore, speaking with a qualified expert with experience with laser treatments is essential.
Further potential issues include infection, scarring, and long-lasting tissue color changes. Due to the laser’s ability to sterilize the region, infection is relatively uncommon. However, getting in touch with a dental expert is crucial if any infection-related symptoms are noticed, such as oozing, swelling, more intense pain, or fever.
What to anticipate following laser gum surgery
Individuals recover from surgery at different rates and return to regular routines at different times. While some might be able to do so the next day, others might need a few days to heal completely.
Mild discomfort for a few days following surgery is typical. Other transient side effects could include small swelling, light bleeding, and gum tissue discoloration.
Your periodontist could give you aftercare guidelines like these:
Usually, the mending period lasts a week. You might be instructed to: During this time.
- Do not floss or brush the afflicted area.
- Instead of spitting the water or mouthwash out, gently rinse your mouth.
- Stick to a gentle diet.
- Avoid using nicotine-containing goods, such as cigarettes.
Your periodontist might advise gargling with warm salt water every few hours for the first 1 to 2 days after surgery to aid with discomfort. Ensure the water is not too hot or cold before mixing 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces.
Gum disease can be effectively treated with laser surgery. However, regular brushing and flossing and twice-yearly visits to the dentist for cleanings and preventive care are necessary to uphold good oral hygiene and ward off infection.
Getting ready for a laser gum surgery
Fasting is unnecessary before laser gum surgery because local anesthesia is usually all needed, not general anesthesia.
Since the surgical area may be kept cool to reduce bacterial growth in the environment, it is advised to wear cozy, comfortable clothing throughout the procedure.
Taking out tongue and nose piercings before surgery is advised for safety reasons.
Avoid wearing a ponytail or bun if you have long hair because your head will rest against the chair for a while, and you may feel uncomfortable.
Gum disease is frequently treated with laser gum surgery, which also shapes the gums to reduce the appearance of a “gummy smile.”
Contrary to conventional surgery, laser gum surgery does not include using a knife or other cutting tools, hence obviating the need for stitches and lessening postoperative bleeding. Insurance frequently pays for laser gum surgery when it is done to treat gum disease.