Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure is a relatively new way to regrow the bone lost due to periodontal disease. When bone is lost the attachment of the gums to the tooth migrates towards the root tip creating a “pocket” of disease that is increasingly aggressive. Proper brushing with specially designed brush bristles can disturb the bacterial colony in the pocket but it is necessary to purify the root and remove all infectious agents to ‘encourage’ the attachment to move upward to the crown of the teeth with new bone filling in the pocket as it shrinks. LANAP uses the purification of the root surfaces by the laser to encourage this re-attachment up the root. The laser also removes all the infected epithelium and stimulates regrowth of collagen and blood vessels to nourish the new bone and attachment to the root. The epithelium is laser “bandaged” (surface laser-ed) for 5 mm around the pocket. This gives the attachment time to migrate up towards the crown of the tooth. By repeating the “laser bandage” every 5 days, 6-8 mm of attachment is possible. The old method is to scale the roots smooth with hand instruments and remove all the infected tissue in the pocket. If the care is done right it will often reduce the pocket 1-3 millimeters. Sometimes a local antibiotic is put in the pocket to keep it disinfected. The reason this is limited is due to the regrowth of epithelium (surface skin) down into the pocket. Once the pocket is lined with epithelium again, bone will not grow next to it. This growth is from the bottom up and it is slower than the in-growth of epithelium.There is no comparison to the trauma caused by instrumental surgery and LANAP surgery. The benefits of the sterility of laser surgery and low level laser stimulation are immeasurable. Since the laser sterilizes the area, no antibiotic is needed after laser treatment.
All periodontal disease is a result of bacterial infection. Proper use of floss and brushing with bristles that clean under the gums and in between the teeth is imperative for health.