Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered below, please don’t hesitate to contact us at at 540.338.4588 for our Purcellville Location or 703.430.0938 for our Sterling Location. A friendly staff member will be happy to assist you.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease begins when plaque accumulates on the teeth and hardens into tartar or calculus. Certain types of germs that live in this plaque and calculus damage gum tissue. Your body tries to fight this infection with an inflammatory attack. This inflammation causes the tissue to bleed easily when you brush or floss. This stage of the condition is called gingivitis. If the infection and inflammation persist, the result is a chronic inflammatory condition that destroys gums and bone around the teeth. At this stage, it is called periodontitis. Often there are no symptoms at all.
What can I do to help prevent gum disease?
Make sure you see your dentist regularly so any periodontal disease can be diagnosed. Remember, periodontal disease doesn’t hurt, so you won’t even know you have it until it is too late! Once the disease is diagnosed and you are sent to a periodontist, it is important to complete any recommended treatment and then begin a specific recall schedule for cleanings. This is critical to maintain control of the disease so you can keep your teeth for a lifetime.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
- Your gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily
- Your gums that seem to have pulled away from the teeth
- You have noticed bad breath
- You see or taste pus between your teeth and gums
- Your teeth may be loose or moving away from one another
- You feel a change in the way your teeth fit together
- Or, most commonly, you may feel no symptoms at all!
Why should I treat my gum disease?
The easy answer is because you want to keep your teeth. However, the health risks of gum disease go far beyond the loss of teeth. There is a connection between gum disease and a number of serious medical conditions. People with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease, and have nearly twice the risk of having a fatal heart attack. Gum disease has also been linked to other health problems, including respiratory disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, erectile dysfunction, HPV, and pregnancy complications.
Who is a candidate for laser treatment?
There are many lasers used in dentistry today, so, no matter what your needs are, there is often a laser to address them. We have several lasers in our office, all for different purposes. We use them for gum recontouring, biopsies, gum grafting procedures, and, of course, to treat periodontal disease.
Patients with moderate-to-severe gum disease can especially benefit from the LANAP protocol. The LANAP protocol is also an excellent treatment option for patients who are fearful of conventional scalpel surgery and patients taking certain medications, such as blood thinners. With the LANAP protocol, patients do not have to stop taking any medications.
What is LANAP laser surgery?
The LANAP protocol is a laser treatment for gum disease. There is no cutting and suturing. The protocol is a patented periodontal treatment, cleared by the FDA in 2004. The procedure can only be completed with the PerioLase® MVP-7; this laser operates at a specific wavelength that attacks the bacteria that contributes to gum disease, while leaving healthy tissue intact.
What are the benefits of LANAP surgery over traditional cut-and-sew surgery?
LANAP® treatment is minimally invasive and allows the body to recover and heal more quickly.
Patients report less discomfort during and after surgery.
No Cut, No Sew, No Fear
The LANAP protocol uses laser light energy to eliminate the bacteria that cause gum disease, and allows your mouth recover faster.
Safe for patients with Health Concerns
The LANAP® protocol is safe for patients with health concerns such as diabetes, HIV, hemophilia, or those taking medications such as Plavix or aspirin.
Little to No Gum Recession
Because the procedure doesn’t require cutting the gums, there is less risk of recession and your smile is maintained.
Reduction in Gum Inflammation and Bleeding
The PerioLase® MVP-7™ targets inflammatory bacteria without injuring healthy tissue.
Patients can keep their natural teeth, sometimes even when the teeth have been deemed ‘hopeless’ with traditional treatments. Keeping your natural teeth has been linked to a longer lifespan!
Minimal Recovery Time
Most patients immediately return to their daily routine.
Can the LANAP protocol help if I have problems with my dental implant?
Yes! Using the PerioLase MVP-7, we can often save ailing or failing implants in a similar manner to the protocol used for teeth. We use the same laser, but different settings and light exposure that will help stabilize your implant by destroying periodontal pathogens and endotoxins.