So what about lasers?

LASERs, you ask???  Lasers being used to treat periodontal disease have received attention recently.  Dr. Chapman would like to share official statements from the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), in regards to the use of lasers to treat gum disease.

In its "Statement on Lasers in Dentistry" the ADA states "There is little convincing clinical that evidence that adjunctive laser curettage produces a result superior to scaling and root planing alone."  The ADA statement goes on to site that there are  flaws in the one study itself that looked at lasers being used to treat gum diseases.   Regarding the much advertised procedure called Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure, (LANAP), the ADA "cautions clinicians to weigh the available eveidence for LANAP when considering the options available for treatment of the periodontal diseases."  This suggests that there are more traditional, time-tested, scientific study tested methods for treating periodontal disease that are more successful than laser treatment.

The American Academy of Periodontology is the largest group of periodontal expert specialists in the world.  Here are some of their findings that they published in April 2011.  "Clinical application of lasers for the treatment of periodontal disease remains controversial.  Laser curettage has little to no benefit beyond scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) alone. Currently, there is minimal evidence to support use of a laser for the purpose subgingival debridement (cleaning below the gumline).  Current evidence shows lasers, as a group, to be unpredictable and inconsistant in their ability to reduce (below the gumline bacterial infections) beyond that achieved by deep cleaning alone.  At best, the evidence is lacking or conflicting."  The AAP concludes by stating, "Further study is needed to determine if laser-assisted scaling & root planing has a beneficial effect." 

Dr. Chapman uses a proven and highly successful form of gum disease treatment called "Pocket Reduction Treatment."  This is where the gums are thoroughly numbed and then folded away from the teeth for a few minutes to allow for access to the disease causing tarter and its removal.  The very predictable results are that the pockets decrease by about 50%.  This allows the toothbrush and floss to be much more effective and the result is long-term periodontal health!

One more interesting fact...Dr Chapman has not ever had one single laser salesperson walk through his door trying to sell a laser to be used to treat periodontal disease.  If lasers were the best thing out there for gum disease treatment, why wouldn't the laser manufacturers be knocking on his door daily?