Laser Gum Surgery

Laser Gum Surgery Improves Smiles

Progressive dentists in areas like the city of Toronto and GTA usually have access to many new and exciting tools and equipment that are changing the face of modern dentistry. One such tool is the laser. Laser gum surgery uses a beam of concentrated energy that is measured and funneled through a hollow glass tube to use for pinpoint accuracy when removing tooth decay and bacteria, sterilizing bones for dental implants, and reducing bleeding during surgery by cauterizing blood vessels. Dr. Ed Philips at his Studio located in the heart of Toronto routinely performs gum surgery with lasers.  He has been certified as a laser surgeon since 2006.  Often to enhance perfect aesthetics, microscopes are used and very fine adjustments are made to the shape of the gums.  This is known as a micro laser gingivectomy.  In rare, but severe cases the gum surgery may involve the removal of some of the underlying unaesthetic or unhealthy bone and this surgery is often performed by our Periodontist on staff.

Why do people need laser gum surgery?

There are many reasons that a patient might require gum surgery and the use of lasers can often help in achieving a healthy aesthetic result.  Gum disease is often known as Periodontal disease. Periodontal disease typically stems from an inflammation of the underlying bone covered by the gum causing the gum to be inflamed and have measurable pockets. The gums will bleed with little pressure and the patient will develop gingivitis, which is a basically gum disease in its early onset. As the plaque forms a pocket between the gum and tooth, the gum line will sag and recede, which makes the tooth susceptible to further decay. People with various levels of decay and swollen gum tissue due to the plaque pockets are generally in need of gum surgery.

After traditional therapies are completed, laser gum surgery can often be used to finish and fine tune the aesthetic result.

Who are good candidates for laser gum surgery?

Patients that do not have cavities and are in overall good health are good candidates for gum surgery. Typically, non-smokers and patients with healthy bone will heal quickly and with relatively little discomfort.

Can the laser hurt you?

Generally speaking the laser is a safe and wonderful treatment when used correctly. Some might argue that a scalpel in the wrong hands or an x-ray performed without the proper protection could also cause the patient harm – it’s really in the hands of an experienced, skilled dental practitioner to use his/her training to successfully operate the laser. The power of the laser is delivered in wavelengths and a experienced dentist will know when to apply more or less strength for the job. Inappropriate power usage can lead to pain and tissue damage, but professional cosmetic dentists like Dr. Ed Philips have worked with lasers long enough to be quite skilled at applying the correct wavelength for each portion of the procedure.

Laser gum surgery treatments

There are typically three major procedures for which patients will seek treatment. All three of these can be successfully performed with laser gum surgery.

  • Gingivectomy

    As plaque and biofilm invade the gum line, the inflammation that occurs can lead to bleeding and a lot of swelling in the tissue surrounding the patient’s teeth. The gum tissue will balloon outward and appear to almost envelope the tooth. To remedy this situation the dentist would use his laser to cut away the excess gum tissue to allow more of the tooth to be exposed for cleaning purposes.

  • Gingival Flap Surgery

    This type of procedure is typically reserved for patients that have deep pockets of periodontal disease along the gum line. The dentist would use a laser to cut the gum tissue away from the tooth and then fold down that tissue to perform deep scaling to remove plaque and tartar in the space. This is a relatively standard surgery that has been improved with the user of dental lasers.

  • Gingivoplasty

    Gingivoplasty involves the transplant of healthy gum tissue from an alternate location in the mouth (such as the roof) to the affected gum line where tissue has separated from the tooth and left it exposed to plaque and more problematic issues. The gum line tissue may be unhealthy or withered looking and the dentist will use his laser to delicately remove tissue in order to suture it along the gap.

Recovering from laser gum surgery is a much easier and faster process than it was when traditional methods were used. The procedure has remained largely the same, but with the incorporation of lasers and highly trained dentists like Dr. Ed Philips and his team, patient downtime from surgery has plummeted and satisfaction has skyrocketed. The cauterizing effect of the laser creates less bleeding and by sealing the wound it is less susceptible to infection.

Have The Perfect Smile…
before

Before & After

…With Dr. Ed Philips
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Is laser gum surgery covered by standard insurance?

This form of treatment is still relatively new so the amount of coverage may vary from carrier to carrier, which means the patient should consult his or hers first in order to determine what to expect. Most carriers offer a set amount for gum surgery and that amount is regardless of whether traditional or laser tools are used. Laser surgery requires training and expensive equipment, so your coverage may not go as far, but the procedure and healing process are much quicker than with traditional gum surgery so it is really a personal decision.

Overall there have been many strides in the technological advancement of dentistry throughout the last century, but none has been so precise and immediately successful as the inclusion of the laser into a dentist’s arsenal. The ability to cut gum tissue without creating an open laceration makes it easier for the dentist to work and helps to avoid medical complications when it comes to recovery. Patients in the city of Toronto and GTA should have plenty of dental options when it comes to gum surgery, and Dr. Ed Philips and his staff are one of the foremost authorities on the use lasers to perfect the process.

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