Laser therapy is often the preferred method of treating periodontal disease because it is easier on the patient. Laser treatment is minimally invasive, causes less discomfort, and leads to a quicker recovery than more conventional surgical treatments. With the laser, there is also less bleeding, swelling, and scaring, and the laser actually targets the diseased tissue and does not destroy healthy tissue. Patients often like the concept of laser treatment, and some patients who have avoided conventional surgical treatment are willing to accept laser treatment as a modern alternative to traditional gum surgery that requires a scalpel and sutures.
Laser treatment is also very precise. With the conventional surgical treatment of periodontal disease, the process begins to create gum recession because some of the height of the gum pocket is inevitably compromised. Therefore, with periodontal treatment that is not laser therapy, it is quite important to maintain excellent oral hygiene with regular hygiene visits to the dental office.
The decision to choose between laser or traditional treatment depends on many factors, including the severity of the disease and tissue types, which are related to the thickness of the tissue. Although I perform many laser procedures with excellent results, for some of my patients I feel that traditional surgical treatment is more appropriate to the patient’s needs. To properly treat the patient there are times when I use a combination of traditional therapies and laser therapies. I am also flexible. If during a laser procedure the treatment is not achieving the desired results for the patient, then I will make the decision to return to conventional surgical treatment. The goal is always to use the best possible treatment to eliminate periodontal disease.
Dr. Karl A. Rose
Chevy Chase, MD