San Francisco Area Laser Dentistry Breakthrough Periodontal Laser Treatment
If you have been told that you have gum disease, take heart; you are not alone. Three out of four adults 35 years and older may be affected, and, according to the American Dental Association, more than 60 percent of adults have gum disease. Periodontal disease has been linked to strokes, heart attacks, miscarriages, low birth weight, and a variety of other possibly life-threatening conditions.
Now, patients suffering from periodontal disease can find relief at the San Francisco laser dentistry practice of Dr. Nick Levi.
Laser dentist Nick Levi, DDS , is fully trained and certified to provide laser periodontal care with the Odyssey the new standard of care for periodontal disease. The Odyssey technology may replace traditional cutting of gum tissue for patients who need surgery to treat gum disease, and it does not require stitches. The Laser procedure allows an easy recovery by minimizing bleeding, reducing root exposure, and preserving gum tissue. It is reasonably priced in comparison to traditional periodontal surgery. Contact our San Francisco office for more information on laser dentistry.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and jawbone caused by bacteria from plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. As the disease progresses, the gums become inflamed and break down, forming spaces around the teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis can result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease has also been linked to strokes, heart attacks, and complications in pregnancy. If you have red, swollen, bleeding, and receded gums, persistent bad breath, or loose teeth, you may benefit from laser periodontal treatment.Laser Dentistry for Periodontal Treatment
Traditional gum surgery is invasive, requiring the use of a scalpel and sutures to eliminate tartar below the gum line. The invasiveness and lengthy healing time associated with the procedure has deterred many individuals from undergoing treatment. San Francisco laser dentist, Dr. Nick Levi, DDS and his staff, brings the benefits of laser dentistry technology to periodontal treatment.
Laser therapy is the choice of San Francisco-area laser dentist, Nick Levi when indicated, because of its:
Laser Periodontal Therapy Steps
- Noninvasive procedure. No scalpel or sutures are used.
- Reduced bleeding, swelling, root sensitivity, and discomfort during and after treatment.
- Shortened recovery time.
- Lasting results.
- Comparable cost to traditional periodontal surgeries
The laser periodontal treatment procedure follows a series of straightforward steps. First, the patient is administered a local anesthetic to numb the mouth. The laser dentist or the hygienist then removes tartar below the gums with an ultrasonic scaler. Next, we gently positions the Odyssey laser --about the size of three hairs-- between the tooth and the surrounding gums. The laser clears away infected gum tissue in a matter of minutes with little effect on healthy tissue. It also promotes healing and prevents further infections by disinfecting the pocket, sealing blood vessels, and stimulating new gum and bone growth. Treatment can be completed in one office visit or in multiple visits, depending on the level of infection. Following the laser dentistry treatment, the gums heal quickly, allowing most patients to return to work almost immediately.
Laser Periodontal TherapyWhat is Laser Periodontal Therapy?
- · Periodontal probe indicates excessive “pocket depth between tooth and gum.
- · Laser energy from Odyssey laser kills bacteria and selectively removes diseased tissue.
- · Ultrasonic cleaning instrument removes tartar from root surfaces.
- · Odyssey disinfects the pocket and stimulates the formation of new bone and gum tissue attachment.
- · Odyssey forms a stable fibrin clot that acts as a natural bandage, sealing the pocket from reinfection and creating a “closed system" for healing.
- · Bite may need to be adjusted and balanced to eliminate trauma from an uneven bite.
- · Pocket is left undisturbed for three to six months during which time new bone and gum tissue attachment form.
Laser Periodontal Therapy is a laser based technique for the treatment of periodontal disease using the Ivoclar-Vivadent's Odyssey Laser. Fear of periodontal treatment vanishes when patients find out no scalpel or sutures will be used. Patient friendly laser treatment gets patients to agree to the treatment they need and continue with the follow-up care that is prescribed.
Our office is one of the first in the area to offer Laser Periodontal Therapy™ for the treatment of gingivitis and/or periodontitis. Following are commonly asked questions about this technology.How does it work?
Tartar, associated with inflamed and bleeding gums, is removed form the root surface of the tooth using an ultrasonic scaler and small instruments.
A small amount of light energy from a laser is directed through a tiny fiber, which is gently placed between the gum and tooth. This light energy removes a tiny amount of diseased tissue and aids in reducing the bacteria associated with the disease. After the area is thoroughly cleaned, the body can heal the area naturally.Does it hurt?
Although the procedure itself can be virtually painless, we may anesthetize the area for the patient’s comfort. In this way we can precisely direct the laser for treatment. Post-procedure discomfort is typically minimal and of short duration.How long does it take?
Initial treatment is focused on scaling and the use of small instruments to remove the tartar. Then, the laser portion of the treatment is performed and normally only takes a few minutes. Depending on the severity of the patient’s periodontal disease, treatment may be accomplished in one office visit or in multiple visits. The estimated treatment time is reviewed with patients when we discuss their treatment plan.Does this treatment cost more than traditional gum surgery?
Typically we use the same billing codes as traditional gum surgery and the laser treatment is generally no more expensive than traditional surgery. There are other factors which may affect the cost, such as the severity of the periodontal disease, and how many teeth are involved. Many insurance plans pay only for a portion of this treatment. Patients should discuss their payment options with the dental office personnel as we offer financing for this treatment.
The dramatically increased comfort for our patients made the new system attractive to our office. We do encourage patients to take care of the need now to reduce further damage to their gums, teeth and bone.
Diabetic Dental Treatment
The Relationship to Blood Glucose (BG) Control
BG control and good oral hygiene seems to be the key to avoiding most dental complications. Everyone is at risk of developing periodontal disease, but all people with diabetes, regardless of age or type of diabetes, are more susceptible. There are several reasons for this.
For one, people with diabetes have more sugar in the mouth, which provides a more hospitable environment for hostile bacteria.
High and fluctuating BGs are also a big factor in the increased risk of periodontal disease. Poor BG control means higher degrees of periodontitis and more vulnerability to complications.
It also makes healing more difficult once an infection sets in. Just like diabetics with poor BG control have a hard time healing wounds and infections on their feet, their bodies have a hard time fighting infections and healing wounds in the mouth.
At the same time, on-going infections may make BG control more difficult. Inflammation and infection affect BG control no matter where they occur. But the mouth is often overlooked, because most medical doctors do not look in the mouth.
Once an infection takes root a vicious cycle ensues making metabolic and infection control a struggle. This cycle can have drastic consequences. If oral infections get out of control
they can lead to BG control problems serious enough to land a person with diabetes in the hospital, to say nothing of the damage to the teeth and gums.
Gum infections can also impact insulin needs. Authors of a study cited in September's 1997's Practical Diabetology concluded that when an infection is rampant, patients with diabetes often have increased insulin requirements. If periodontal disease is treated and gingival inflammation is eliminated, these insulin needs often decrease.