“I Feel Guilty”

evolution rMy patient called me the other day, one day after her LANAP® procedure. She said she “felt guilty.” I asked her, “Why?” She said that she took off from work all day Friday because she had the laser gum surgery I performed for her on Thursday. I asked her, “Then, why do you feel guilty?” She said, “Because, I had no pain or discomfort, and I feel guilty because I took off from work. I could have gone back to work the next day with no problems.”
That is the type of comment I hear from my patients following LANAP procedures.
LANAP stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure. This is a cutting-edge laser protocol for advanced gum disease called periodontitis. This treatment does not require cutting with a scalpel and does not require any stitches. As my patient stated, most patients go back to their normal routines the next day.
Periodontitis is a chronic infection of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth as well as a destructive infection of the bone that supports the teeth in the jawbone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored a vast study of the US adult population that was reported in 2012. This study was the most comprehensive study of its kind ever done in this country. The results were stunning. It discovered the prevalence of periodontitis in the US adult population over the age of 30 was 47% (64.7 million Americans), and the prevalence of this destructive disease jumped to 70% in the population aged 65 and above.
“This is the most accurate picture of periodontal disease in the U.S. adult population we have ever had,” said Pamela McClain, DDS, and President of the American Academy of Periodontology at the time of the paper’s publication. “For the first time, we now have a precise measure of the prevalence of periodontal disease, and can better understand the true severity and extent of periodontal disease in our country.” Link to quote.
Not only is this an infection of the gum tissue and bone surrounding the teeth, it is an infection that can spread to many other areas of the body.
Some of the signs and symptoms of gum disease might be bleeding gums, swollen or red gums, bad breath, loose teeth, sensitive teeth, and receding gums. Unfortunately, a person does not have to have these symptoms to have this infection. The infection could be so deep that these symptoms, which may have been a problem many years ago, are no longer an obvious problem. The disease may have gotten so deep that all the typical symptoms have gone away. But, the infection is still there – only much deeper. The ultimate result could be abscesses, pain, loss of teeth, and spread of infection throughout the body.
There are various ways to treat this infection, but diagnosis is the first and most important step. Without a thorough examination by a trained dental professional, a person may never know if he or she has this disease until the teeth were unable to be saved. Once this infection is properly diagnosed, treatment could be started.
Usually, patient-friendly treatment consists of removing the causes of the disease and then assisting the body to repair the gum and bone structures. In my opinion, it is critically important to educate the patient in making nutrient-dense food choices and eliminating unhealthy food choices. This healthy eating lifestyle could be a determining factor for disease returning in the future or not. Links are here and here.
The current treatment technology has advanced to the point that procedures do not have to be uncomfortable. And, the results are far better than protocols from years gone by.
The best part of LANAP is that patients get much better results than tradition periodontal surgery without pain or swelling or bleeding. Here is a link to some clinical research.
I have been practicing periodontics for 41 years, and for the first 35 years of my career I was performing traditional periodontal surgery. Results were good, but the healing process was uncomfortable. For the last 5 years or so, I have been providing my patients, who require treatment for their gum disease, with the better option of LANAP. The LANAP protocol kills the offending infectious bacteria without harming healthy gum, bone, or tooth. The LANAP protocol also assists the patient’s ability to grow new bone where there was diseased bone from the infection. It is estimated that approximately 30% of the periodontists in the United States now are incorporating this protocol in their treatment of periodontitis for their patients.
I am somewhat unique in that I incorporate the cutting-edge treatment of LANAP with primal nutrition and lifestyle. I have found that LANAP in combination with healthy changes in food choices has provided the body with an increased ability to heal. Patients have been pleased, I have been pleased, and their gum disease has been treated with much better results than conventional gum surgery.
I designed and implemented an in-office study in 2014 that investigated the effects of specific nutrient-dense food supplements on gum disease. Well Being Journal published my research in its March/April 2015 issue.

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