LANAP vs. Traditional Gum Surgery


For patients in need of periodontal surgery, the choice between traditional and laser treatments is important. To select the best option for you, it is critical that you understand the key differences between the traditional and the LANAP® procedures.In traditional surgery, the doctor uses a scalpel to peel back gum tissue for better visibility and access to the periodontal pocket. The doctor then cuts down and sutures the gums to decrease pocket depth; this is what causes the aesthetic alteration of your gum line. Once the pockets are cut down, bone or tissue grafting may be used to reattach the gum to the tooth’s root surface.

While some severe cases of periodontitis necessitate traditional surgery, LANAP® is generally a viable alternative for most patients. LANAP® does not require scalpel or sutures, making it minimally invasive with little pain or discomfort. Because LANAP®does not require the cutting of gums to decrease pocket depth, there is little to no gum line recession nor aesthetic alteration of your smile. The laser is able to distinguish between diseased and healthy tissue, leaving healthy tissue unaffected; the procedure is exceptionally selective and safe. The laser removes diseased tissue and kills living bacteria without compromising healthy gum, tooth, and bone tissue.


Key Differences between Traditional Gum Surgery and LANAP®

Pain – Traditional surgery can be very painful as it requires cutting and suturing of the gums. Post-operative pain medication is usually prescribed, and rest time is needed as part of recovery. Many patients opt to have damaged teeth extracted to avoid the discomfort of dental surgery. LANAP® protocol causes considerably less discomfort and rarely requires post-operative pain medication. Minimal recovery time is needed, allowing patients to return to their daily routine almost immediately.

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Recession – Traditional periodontal surgery requires that the gum line be cut down to decrease pocket depth. Gum line recession is usually between 2-4 mm; however, in severe cases of periodontitis, the gum line may recede as much as 10-15 mm. The recessed gum line exposes tooth roots, which can be particularly sensitive to hot and cold, causing discomfort to the patient while eating or drinking. LANAP® is less invasive and more selective. The laser removes only damaged tissue and does not impact nearby healthy gum and bone, resulting in no significant gum line recession. The natural appearance of the patient’s smile is preserved.

Healing Time – LANAP® does not require surgical cutting and sutures and is selective in the tissue it removes which allows for rapid healing. The laser kills the bacteria and reduces inflammation, preserving and supporting healthier tissue.
Long-term results – LANAP® protocol results are much more predictable in terms of bone regeneration and tissue attachment. The PerioLase® MVP-7™ stimulates the root surface and promotes regeneration and attachment. Teeth considered hopeless can be saved and restored. Patients show further improvement after LANAP® protocol because regeneration and reattachment continue after the procedure is complete.


Cutting-edge science is constantly evolving and refining dental technology. We, as LANAP® certified dentists, have made the commitment to stay abreast of the latest advances and to provide our patients with the best possible treatment options while meeting the highest standards of care.

Laser treatment is a fantastic option for many patients; however, it may not be suited to all cases. Please call us to schedule a consultation and find out if LANAP®could be the solution to achieving optimal periodontal health for you!

For more information click the following links:

LANAP® Procedure
LANAP® vs Traditional Gum Surgery
LANAP® FAQ