As we've previously discussed, laser-assisted new attachment procedure (the LANAP protocol) is a surgical therapy designed for the treatment of periodontitis through regeneration rather than resection. This therapy and the laser used to perform it have been in use for more than a decade now. LANAP was developed to achieve consistently effective and predictable outcomes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the LANAP protocol for the treatment of periodontitis, or gum disease, in 2004.
In LANAP surgery, a variable free-running pulsed neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG at 1064 nm wavelength) dental laser is used by a trained and certified periodontist to treat the periodontal pocket. The laser energy selectively removes diseased or infected pocket epithelium from the underlying connective tissue. The necrotic epithelium is stripped from the connective tissue at the histologic level of the rete ridges.
Since the laser energy is quite selective for diseased tissue, the underlying pleuropotential connective tissue is spared, thereby permitting healing and regeneration rather than formation of a pocket seal by long junctional epithelium.
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