Before you are scheduled for gum surgery, your periodontist will conduct a pre-op examination to determine if you are ready for the procedure and to explain to you what to expect.
Your periodontist will need to look at your medical records, ascertain the state of your dental and oral health, and check for any lesions or infections that could affect the healing process. He/she will discuss with you the many benefits of laser periodontal surgery as well as the risks and get the green light from you to go ahead with the procedure.
You will want to come to the dental chair with your mouth as clean as possible. And you need to be relaxed while the procedure is underway - so consider dental sedation if you tend to get nervous around dentists.
What To Expect On Surgery Day
In most cases, laser gum surgery can be a fairly quick procedure. It is also minimally traumatic and minimally painful. A local anesthetic and/or dental sedation might be used, but sometimes, a numbing agent is all that is needed.
Unlike other periodontal disease treatments, no scalpel incisions before or stitches after will be necessary. The LANAP protocol, which uses the Millenium MVP-7 dental laser, targets diseased gum tissue and ablates the diseased tissue, "zaps it away," while preserving your healthy gum tissue. It destroys bacteria that cause gum disease and infection, including those dwelling in "deep periodontal pockets" just below the gum line.
There is very little bleeding, swelling, or pain during the operation - or after it, as compared to other ways of treating gum disease.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
Not only is the procedure itself quick with laser periodontal treatment, but the recovery process is also much faster. Most people can be back at work and into their daily routines within only 24 hours. Within a matter of weeks, your gums will be so healthy you may forget you ever had gum surgery.
Nonetheless, your periodontist will have some advice to give you so you can speed up the recovery time even more. First of all, avoid brushing your gums until they are no longer sensitive from the procedure. Use an antiseptic mouth rinse to help prevent a re-infection, and avoid high-sugar foods that can feed plaque/bacteria.
You may need to stick with soft foods and beverages only during the first few days post-op, plus avoid spicy foods or anything extremely hot/cold. Avoid smoking tobacco products or drinking alcoholic beverages as this can slow down the rate at which your gums heal themselves.
You can expect a follow-up appointment a week or two after the procedure. This is just to make sure everything is healing as planned. Your periodontist will likely give you some tips on how to maintain good gum health going forward during the follow-up meeting.
Are you interested to learn more about laser periodontal treatment? In Ormond Beach and the Central Florida area, feel free to contact Dr. Kenzik for answers to all your questions!