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Laura Dorr is the executive editor of DPR's Modern Dental Network.
How one doctor is providing effective periodontal care for her patients with the LANAP protocol and PerioLase MVP-7.
Gum disease is a rampant issue in the United States, with more than 65 million adults suffering from periodontitis. Such prevalence requires simple, convenient, affordable and most importantly, effective cutting-edge treatment options.
The LANAP protocol promises to deliver just that. An FDA-approved laser-based gum treatment using Millennium Dental Technologies’ PerioLase MVP-7 Nd:YAG laser, the procedure treats gum disease by regenerating alveolar bone, periodontal ligament and cementum lost to disease.
Dr. Cerisa Moncayo, a general dentist and LANAP clinician in private practice in Pacific Palisades, Calif., was originally skeptical. “I needed to see for myself what the PerioLase was actually about,” she says. “I’ve had experience with a lot of dental lasers, so I know every laser has its limitations.” But her concerns proved to be unfounded. “After using it and learning how much it actually can do, I was pleasantly surprised!”
Dr. Moncayo cites benefits such as effectiveness, procedural simplicity and being able to offer an alternative to traditional therapy.
“We always want to offer our patients effective treatment that will improve their status,” she explains. “Periodontal disease can be addressed by traditional therapy, other lasers and impeccable hygiene, but it can be reversed with LANAP to help our patients obtain true periodontal health. If a tooth is too far gone, traditional therapy may be hopeless in the long term.”
The PerioLase and the LANAP protocol are also a big hit with patients. “Patients love the idea of a no-cut, no-sew approach-something that’s effective and not scary-sounding,” Dr. Moncayo says. “There’s something about a laser that is much more inviting and acceptable to patients than a sharp stainless-steel instrument.”
Additional patient benefits include time savings and pain reduction. The LANAP protocol requires fewer appointments than conventional treatments and reduced recovery time. “If done properly, it’s relatively painless,” Dr. Moncayo says. “Even my 95-year-old patient said the procedure and recovery were comfortable and like nothing she’d experienced before.”
Integration to the practice
Dr. Moncayo has found few drawbacks, though she does note integrating the LANAP protocol and the PerioLase can take some time.
“However, anything to elevate your practice and skill set is an investment,” she says. “Any treatment modality you incorporate into your practice must be implemented with proper training, which takes time. The LANAP protocol definitely takes time to execute properly. There are no shortcuts.”
However, once she put it into practice, Dr. Moncayo found it was worth the effort. “The PerioLase has become my mainstay of sorts. The applications are numerous,” she says. “It was easy to incorporate not only for the LANAP protocol and to address periodontal diseases, but I use it daily for restorative and surgical procedures and a ton of other value-added procedures.”
“I practice biomimetic dentistry, so supragingival dentistry is imperative,” she adds. “The PerioLase allows me to isolate margins-no more packing cord. If we take out a tooth or there’s angry tissue, the PerioLase achieves hemostasis. If my patient has an achy aphthous ulcer, the PerioLase immediately offers relief and speeds up healing. It simplifies procedures by offering a better, more effective alternative to how we normally would do something.”
Millennium Dental makes the learning process smooth, Dr. Moncayo says. “During training, you’re in close contact with the founders-dentists themselves-as well as specialists and general dentists who have been practicing with the PerioLase for decades,” she says. “It’s entirely patient-focused. I feel like that’s what we need to be as clinicians. If you have curiosity to help your patients with another treatment modality, it doesn’t hurt to look into it yourself.”