Common Questions Asked About Laser Gum Therapy

Al-FaPerio is a specialist London-based clinic providing laser gum treatment to our patients. Laser gum surgery is an effective gum disease treatment that eliminates gum disease, and encourages bone generation and gum growth.

Our team of specialists are often asked the following questions about laser gum treatment and therapy:

Laser gum surgery is a periodontal treatment that uses a series of lasers to target and clean tartar (plaque). It cleans the surface of teeth, roots and deep pockets that have gradually formed along and in the gums. Unlike traditional gum disease treatments, laser gum therapy allows the periodontist to solely target the infected areas without invasion into healthy, surrounding gum tissues. This eliminates bacteria, while also creating a healthy, strong bond between the tooth and gums.

Laser therapy is generally a pain-free procedure overseen by an experienced specialist periodontist. Post-procedure discomfort is minimal, and any sensitivity in the gums is only for a short amount of time. At Al-FaPerio, we use a local anaesthetic to numb the infected area to significantly reduce any pain that may be felt during the treatment, making the procedure relatively painless.

The average length of laser gum therapy depends on the treatment plan created beforehand. Usually, laser periodontal therapy takes just one session, which runs for less than an hour. Depending on the severity of the periodontal disease, more than one appointment may be scheduled to achieve the best results.

Laser gum treatment enables patients to return to work the same or following day. Depending on the recommendation from your periodontist, we usually suggest a relaxed diet of foods that won’t strain your mouth, teeth or gums. The recovery time for the gums depends on the severity of the gum disease.

Questions Regarding Gum Disease

The belief that gum disease disappears through tooth loss or extraction is one of the many misconceptions about the disease. There are, however, several different treatment options that combat each severity and stage of gum disease. The most popular procedures are non-invasive treatments, which have the ability to reverse your gum disease, curing it without having to extract any teeth.

Gingivitis is the beginning stages of periodontal disease. Noticeable symptoms are red, swollen gums that are quick to bleed. Acting fast when these signs and symptoms appear leads to easier control of the disease with non-invasive treatments. We use procedures, such as non-surgical periodontal therapy, to prevent gum disease from progressing. This treatment technique commences before invasive surgical procedures are recommended. In many cases, we find this alone can be adequate to reverse the effects of gum disease.

If you have receding gums, your bones are also decreasing. Periodontal pockets begin to form, resulting in the teeth starting to loosen. To avoid multiple tooth loss and extraction commonly seen with Aggressive Periodontitis, a unique treatment called Laser Gum Treatment is required. Our resident gum specialist and expert Periodontist, Dr Rana Al-Falaki, was the first to introduce the non-invasive treatment to the UK. Designed to be comfortable and pain-free, the benefits of laser dentistry include the elimination of infection and promotion of regeneration in the gums and bones, restoring the receding gums. We have seen many cases where the successful reversal of the effects of gum disease have occurred, no matter the stage.

Gum disease is incredibly common in the UK, with approximately 80% of the population having some form of periodontal disease. Although not all types of gum disease can affect your oral health, gum disease will not go away and gradually worsen over time. The early form of gum disease is often painless. When left untreated, gum disease will gradually begin to cause issues. This can include tooth decay, receding gums and destroying of the bone and tissues surrounding and supporting each tooth.

There are several signs to look out for that may indicate that you have gum disease:

  • Redder gums
  • Gums that are highly susceptible to bleeding
  • Bleeding when brushing teeth
  • Noticeable, swollen gums
  • General bad odour from the mouth
  • Abscesses
  • Painful, highly-sensitive gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Teeth look longer (gums are receding)
  • Gaps between your teeth and gums

These can be caused by many factors that include smoking, stress and poor oral health. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you book an appointment to see your dentist straight away. Your dentist will identify if you do have gums disease and the best procedure to manage things moving forward. It is important to note that bleeding gums should not be ignored as they could also be the sign of the more serious periodontal disease. The earlier it is caught, the easier it will be to treat with less serious consequences.

There are a wide range of periodontal treatments available, all dependent on the stage of gum disease you may have. Al-FaPerio strongly believes in creating a healthy oral foundation. Our treatments are designed to improve the health of your teeth, gums and bone structure.

Our signature periodontal examination process includes:

  • Laser Gum Treatment: Our award-winning London periodontal clinic offers leading laser gum treatment that has many advantages compared to traditional gum treatments. With improved healing times, a minimalistic invasive approach and increased speed of treatment, our laser gum treatment has helped countless patients
  • Bone Regeneration: Our periodontists use laser periodontal therapy and our unique Al-Fa Technique promotes bone generation initially lost through gum disease. Our innovative, laser therapy enables bone cells to regenerate in the previously affected area
  • Gum Recession Treatment: Al-FaPerio offers gingival re-contouring and gingival grafting. The aim of these treatments is to encourage gum growth which improves the oral health of your mouth and the appearance of your smile
  • Dental Implants: We offer dental implant treatments to patients that may have lost their teeth due to gum disease. The Al-FaPerio Periodontal Clinic can assess, design and carry out your dental implant treatment, restoring the natural appearance of your smile as well as your oral health

Dental Implants could help restore your smile and confidence if you need to replace teeth lost through gum disease or periodontal disease. Advanced gum disease can lead to gum recession and bone loss, which mean the chances of having dental implants are severely reduced.

If you suffer from gum disease, it is vital to have it treated before you can be considered a viable candidate for dental implants. The first step is to book an appointment with a periodontist. After you have your gum disease treated successfully, you can then meet with a dental implant dentist. The dental implants dentist will identify if it is possible for you to have dental implants fitted. If you have suffered from extensive bone loss, you may need a bone graft procedure before implants can be placed. Your dentist will guide you regarding the intensity of damage your gum disease has caused, and the subsequent treatment required.

The more advanced a gum disease case becomes, the possibility of implants becomes less likely. An alternative form of treatment will need to be discussed, such as dentures. The good news is there are several ways to treat gum disease, and the earlier you detect it, the better. These treatments can include antibiotic gel, enzyme suppressant, oral antibiotics, and surgery if deep cleaning doesn’t work.

Questions About Periodontal Disease and Dental Implant Failure

There are many misconceptions when it comes to periodontal disease, and if the correct care has not been taken, it can still cause havoc to dental implants and remaining surrounding teeth. Our team designs dental implants which fully integrate with the body. This means that post-treatment implants need to be treated and cared for the same as any other natural tooth. On the rare occasion that a dental implant fails due to a lack of post-placement care, you may see a reappearance of periodontal disease.

Other causes of failure include:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Implants succeed in a healthy, happy mouth. Implants can fail when bad oral health is exhibited. This includes smoking (which can inhibit healing), alcohol and not cleaning or flossing your teeth daily. As tartar build-up is the main contributor to periodontal disease, it is vital to have regular check-ups with our onsite periodontist Dr Rana Al-Falaki, who assesses the severity and advise the best treatment moving forward.
  • Overloading: Avoid grinding down on your teeth as this can damage the implant and support structures. It is also essential to be aware of heavy biting and avoid contact sports such as rugby.
  • Dental Decay: The area around the implant can be susceptible to developing gingivitis and even periodontitis if there is tooth decay present in the mouth. As implants act the same as any other tooth, they are also susceptible to gum disease. If there are signs and symptoms of gum disease present, it is crucial to act quickly.
  • Genetics: Periodontal disease can be hereditary. If there is a history of the disease in the family, then there is a likelihood that you are prone to developing some type of gum disease.

Complete failure and loss of dental implants are extremely rare. A conversation with your dentist can highlight the reasons why it failed and the best steps moving forward. If the reason, for example, is smoking, this is something you can control and change. By quitting, you will make your mouth suitable once again for implants.

Gingivitis is an infection of the gums. Left unchecked this disease can spread and deepen, leading to a deterioration of the supporting structures that hold a tooth in place within the jaw. The main cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. If food debris and bacteria stagnate, they become a sticky substance called plaque. Once plaque hardens due to the minerals in saliva, it forms a substance called tartar or calculus. This is very difficult to clean and remove as it adheres firmly to the teeth.

Since the gum surrounds the teeth, toxins produced by the bacteria inflame the gums. This propagates a cascade of events leading to the infection of the teeth and the gums. If left unchecked further deterioration occurs by infection of the supporting bone, creating a condition called periodontitis.

There can be many reasons for infection of the gums, including:

  • Increased susceptibility to infection
  • Frequent snacking
  • Incorrect diet
  • Incorrect cleaning technique
  • Physical inability to clean
  • Difficulty cleaning due to crowding of teeth that have twisted or rotated

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease:

  • Red gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Painful teeth
  • Painful gums
  • Swollen gums

Treatment

Careful assessment of the gums by the dentist determines the extent of damage that has already occurred. This helps us understand whether the disease is active and its underlying cause. From here, we establish specific protocols unique to you, enabling us to treat the condition accurately, with minimal long-term effects. Our main aim of treatment is to prevent Gingivitis from advancing and involving the supporting bone. Infection of the gum involving the bone is called Periodontitis.

People can lose teeth for a variety of reasons; however, regardless of the cause, there are certain consequences that follow as a result. In most cases, it is imperative to replace the missing tooth to prevent any damaging long-term effects or to correct any abnormalities.

Teeth can be missing due to:

Gum Disease: Chronic ongoing infection of the gums can lead to deterioration of the attachment between the gum and root of the tooth. This can cause the tooth to progressively become loose and painful. Infection of the gum and its surrounding supporting bone is called Periodontal Disease. In some cases, this is no longer treatable, and extraction of the tooth becomes the only choice.
Infection of the Tooth (Caries): Progressive infection in a tooth that is left untreated can lead to a more severe situation whereby the tooth is no longer in a condition that can easily be restored. In some cases, the tooth may already have been heavily restored with a root canal and crown and is now no longer restorable due to re-infection. To prevent further spread of infection in the bone and soft tissues, extraction of the tooth becomes the only choice.
Trauma or Accidental Damage: The tooth can be traumatised by accident rendering it broken in such a way that it is no longer treatable; hence, the tooth is extracted.
Elective Extraction: Either due to cosmetic improvement or overcrowding, a tooth may be selectively extracted. Some people opt for elective extraction as opposed to expensive treatment.
Congenitally Absent: A tooth may be congenitally missing. However, missing teeth still have consequences in the rest of the mouth.

Questions About Dental Pockets

At Al-FaPerio Clinic, we have constructed a unique assessment method that allows us to carefully diagnose areas surrounding a tooth where the infection is present. From here, we can assess the level of de-attachment of gum that occurred.

Healthy gums surrounding a tooth are attached with approximately 1–3mm of gum left unattached at the top. This is quite normal, and we aim to maintain this. However, when infection sets in the gum becomes unattached from the tooth (depending on how much infection is present). The amount of gum that comes away from the tooth is called a pocket and can be measured to be anything higher than 3mm. This is an ongoing deteriorating process unless the gum disease is treated.

Advanced Periodontitis involves very deep pockets, and these are often difficult to treat. The longer the treatment is left, the more complex the treatment becomes, and we are less likely to save the tooth.

  • Teeth become increasingly loose
  • An ever-worsening area of infection develops
  • Cosmetic and aesthetic deterioration of the gum line and smile
  • Treatment planning is more difficult using compromised teeth with pockets
  • There can be associated bleeding, pain, swelling and sensitivity

Traditionally the areas involving pockets are manually cleaned using a combination of various periodontal treatments. These treatments are carried out by the hygienist, hygiene therapist and the specialist periodontist. The treatment is based on the severity of the gum disease.

One significant advancement that occurs in situations involving pockets is the use of lasers. We are able to use lasers successfully to eliminate and significantly reduce pockets. Using the Al-Fa Technique founded by Dr Rana Al-Falaki, we are able to regenerate bone that was initially lost to infection. This is an entirely new innovation in modern periodontal surgery.

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