Laser surgery offers alternative to traditional procedures
Laser-assisted gum surgery offers patients with periodontal disease -- especially advanced cases -- an option to traditional gum surgery.
"Instead of extracting teeth, we can help stop the (progression) of periodontal disease," said Port Charlotte dentist Dr. Joseph Farag.
"The laser gently removes harmful bacteria and diseased tissue from the gums," according to a patient information brochure.
"As with periodontal surgery, this removal of bacteria allows the body to heal naturally so the gum pockets improve and the teeth become more stable."
In traditional procedures, the dentist or periodontist uses a scalpel to cut away the diseased gum tissue, exposing the bone and root. The doctor then manually cleans the tartar from the affected tooth and root.
"The amputation of gum tissue can lead to months of recovery," Farag explained. "With laser (procedures), recovery happens in days."
Patients who undergo laser-assisted gum surgery typically experience less pain, bleeding and post-treatment discomfort; faster healing times; and reduced risk of infection.
Farag usually completes the laser-assisted procedure in two 90-minute sessions. "We do the right half of the mouth one week and the left the second," he said.
Patients have weekly followup visits two to three weeks after the procedure, and their teeth are polished on the final weekly appointment. From there, patients come in for regular cleanings every three months.
Farag, with the assistance of the illustration above, describes the process. The dentist inserts probe into a pocket -- a gap between the tooth and gum -- to see how deep it is (A). Next, he or she cleans the bacteria and diseased tissue away (B). The dentist then uses an ultrasonic scaler and special hand instruments to remove root-surface tartar (C). The dentist uses the laser finish cleaning the pocket and "seals" it so germs can't enter; the laser helps the blood coagulate (D). The gum is able to attach to the clean root of the tooth and bone begins to grow (E). The dentist scales the tooth to make any bite adjustments necessary (F). As the jaw heals, bone continues to regenerate (G).
See page 14 for more information on gum disease.
Dr. Joseph Farag's practice, Port Charlotte Dental Care, is located at 3441 Conway Blvd. in Port Charlotte. For more information, call 941-764-9555 or visit http://drfarag.com.