Laser Periodontal Procedures
Another recent development in periodontal treatment is the use of laser to regenerate tissue. Utilizing the body’s own natural ability to “heal itself”, Dr. West utilizes the PerioLase™. Performed without a scalpel and sutures, laser therapy creates an environment for regeneration of the tissues around your teeth (gum, bone, cementum, ligament) that are lost due to periodontal disease.
The laser therapy works by targeting only diseased gum, which it discerns by the color. Diseased gums are darker than healthy gums. The laser is then used to agitate the healthy tissue, encouraging it to reattach to the bone. Because of the regrowth of this connective tissue, there is also a much lower chance of gum disease returning than with traditional surgery.
Due to the ability of the laser to target and remove only diseased tissue, Dr. West is able to help restore you to health with no post-operative pain and fewer side effects and risks than traditional surgery. This is in conjunction with a detailed homecare program that is described below.
- Anti-microbial rinses and antibiotic medications may be prescribed for you. Take any prescribed medications according to directions and continue taking until all meds are gone.
- Reduce physical activity for several hours following surgery.
- Periodontal laser procedures usually result in little or no discomfort following surgery.
- For the first 24 hour period immediately following surgery, take two (2) Advil or Motrin (Ibuprofen) every 4-6 hours even if you do not have any pain.
- For the first 24 hour period immediately following surgery, stay on a liquid diet only. For the following 3-7 days after surgery, a soft diet is recommended. Try to eat soft but nutritious foods such as eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, malts, ice cream, etc. Stay away from spicy and “chippy” foods. It is also important to maintain good fluid intake during this period.
- Carefully avoid chewing food in the areas of the mouth where the laser has been used for at least one week following surgery. One of the most important results of laser surgery is the blood clots that form following surgery. It is extremely important not to dislodge the tiny clots that form in and around the gums.
- Do not be alarmed with any color changes or appearance of tissues following laser therapy. Tissues can be gray, yellow, red, blue, purple, “stringy” and reflect normal response to laser treatments.
- It is OK to spit, rinse, and wash your mouth today. Rinse as directed with Peridex or Periogard morning and night. In between, it is OK to rinse gently every three (3) hours with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8oz. glass of warm water). Do not brush or floss your teeth until instructed to do so (see Treatment and Home Care sequence sheet).
- Try to keep your mouth as clean as possible in order to help the healing process. Brush, floss, and follow other home care measures in all the areas of your mouth except for the surgery area.
- Do not apply excessive tongue or cheek pressure to the surgery area.
Do not be alarmed if one of the following occurs:
- Light bleeding
- Slight swelling
- Some soreness, tenderness, or tooth sensitivity
- Medicinal taste, from Peridex or Periogard
Please call the office at The Woodlands Phone Number (281) 681-2422 if you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Prolonged or severe pain
- Prolonged or excessive bleeding
- Considerably elevated or persistent temperature
Do not be alarmed that beginning within two weeks after therapy and extending as long as one year or more, the teeth may become sore, tender, or sensitive as the bone and ligaments around the teeth regenerate and become more firm. This is a sign of healing, but may also indicate the presence of a bite imbalance that may need to be adjusted.