Laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP), is a therapy used by Dr. Drew for the effective treatment of periodontitis through regeneration rather than resection. This therapy, and the laser which performs it (Periolase) have long been in use by Dr. Drew. LANAP is an FDA-approved patented protocol for the treatment of periodontitis, or gum disease.
In LANAP surgery, a dental laser is used by Dr. Drew to treat the periodontal pocket. The laser energy selectively removes diseased pocket epithelium from the underlying connective tissue. The necrotic epithelium is stripped from the connective tissue at the histologic level of the rete pegs and rete ridges. Since the laser energy is quite selective for pocket epithelium, the underlying pleuripotential connective tissue is spared, thereby permitting healing and regeneration rather than formation of a pocket seal by long junctional epithelium. In periodontics it is a process through which cementum-mediated periodontal ligament new attachment to the root surface in the absence of long junctional epithelium is achieved for the treatment of moderate to severe gum disease (including gingivitis and periodontal disease). Stimulation of existing stem cells permits the formation of new root surface coating (cementum) and new connective tissue (periodontal ligament) formation (collagen) on tooth roots. The paradigm of periodontal healing in the absence of guided tissue regeneration barriers (GTR) or bone grafting materials (allografts) has finally been successfully challenged in the twenty first century.
After LANAP, most patients experience new root surface coating (cementum) and new connective tissues (periodontal ligament) formation (collagen) on tooth roots, preventing tooth loss. Pocket depth reduction is excellent and comparable to that achieved by conventional resective osseous or pocket reduction surgery, but without the gingival recession normally associated with osseous surgery. Significant post-operative reduction in gingival indices, gingival inflammation, and bleeding on probing are also desirable results of LANAP.
The patient experience is also generally positive. As LANAP is tissue-sparing and contrary to the old fashioned resective paradigm, patients enjoy a smile with minimal post-operative recession and attendant disfigurement or root sensitivity. Minimization of post-therapy gingival recession also reduces the future risk of root caries/dental decay of the tooth root. Through the natural analgesic biostimulatory effects of laser irradiation, patients usually have minimal post-operative discomfort. This discomfort is easily controlled through the use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (over the counter NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen.
With normal three month periodontal recall and maintenance, the LANAP-provided new attachment is remarkably stable and resistant to future periodontal breakdown. Patients are encouraged to improve and maintain standards of oral hygiene to prevent further active periodontitis.