More gum disease patients forgo scalpel in favor of cutting-edge laser surgery

More gum disease patients forgo scalpel in favor of cutting-edge laser surgery

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Periodondist Braden Seamons is a gum and implant specialist, and Hawaii’s pioneer at performing gum surgery using a laser instead of a scalpel.

“It’s a minimally invasive procedure. There’s no cutting, no sewing. And almost amazingly we have the ability to regenerate new bone,” he said.

The procedure is called the LANAP Protocol by Millennium Dental Technologies.

Patient Lyle Fujioka chose the laser over conventional gum surgery.

"Laser made sense to me just because it's laser and it's not cut and stitch, the old way," he said.

The very narrow beam slips between diseased gum and teeth and removes unhealthy tissue and debris. The laser then sterilizes and seals around the tooth.

The FDA recently cleared use of the laser to help stimulate growth of new bone and tissue.

"We not only grow new bone but we get the tissue to physically reattach to the root surface, which you don't get with conventional treatment," Seamons said.

He estimates 40 percent of periodontists on the mainland use the laser, and believes dentists in Hawaii are starting to acknowledge the procedure’s efficiency.

"We've done more than 30,000 cases," he said. "More importantly there's research to back it up now. So it is an evidence based procedure."

The laser procedure is also faster and hurts less than conventional gum surgery.

"My general dentist basically was shocked when he found out that the whole procedure for the whole mouth was two to three hours. He could not believe that," Fujioka said.

Seamons said the laser procedure can also treat failing implants and can help diabetic patients. Eliminating inflammation caused by gum disease helps control blood sugar levels.

"It costs less, hurts less and works better," Seamons said.

The procedure is covered by dental insurance plans.

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