Fight Gum Disease
September 7, 2018 No Comments

What’s in a Treatment? The Differences Between Laser Treatments for Gum Disease

Picture it: You’re settling into your dentist’s chair for an appointment. It’s probably been too long since your last visit. After the hygienist and doctor work on you, you get the news: you have advanced gum disease. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill gingivitis; it’s been slowly destroying the bone around your teeth and you’re going to have to have surgery to correct it before it wreaks havoc on your mouth and the rest of your health, as well.

Once the initial dread wears off, you ponder the next steps. Your doctor tells you standard options: do nothing and lose your teeth; have “deep cleanings” to try to manage the disease; have traditional osseous surgery; or have a laser treatment. While most patients would agree that they prefer anything over invasive, painful cut-and-sew surgery, what are the differences between laser treatments for gum disease?

It’s true, patients have their share of options when choosing a laser dental procedure. Only one laser gum disease treatment, though, has proof that it can achieve True Periodontal Regeneration — stopping disease progression and regenerating the bone and tissue already destroyed by disease. That laser treatment is the LANAP® protocol, using Millennium Dental Technologies’ PerioLase® MVP-7™ dental laser.

Different lasers do different things

The bottom line is there are differences between laser treatments for gum disease. Dental lasers come in many different wavelengths with different operating parameters, and each specific wavelength interacts with the human body differently. Some lasers can cut tissue, some lasers can cut bone, some lasers can’t do either. It all comes down to the specific wavelength. Unfortunately, the differences between dental lasers and tissue interactions are not taught in most dental schools.

One other company has latched onto Millennium Dental’s FDA clearance for True Regeneration and claims its laser treatment can get the same results as the LANAP protocol. Such FDA clearances are called “me too” clearances, or an FDA clearance for an existing indication for use. The FDA does not require the same standard of proof of safety and effectiveness that a “me too” device can achieve the same results, only that it is a similar device that claims to do the same thing – without requiring new clinical evidence. The other company with True Regeneration clearance has not presented scientific evidence to the FDA to prove regeneration has occurred, while Millennium Dental was required to, and provided 40 pages of new research, including two human histological studies to prove its new indication for use claim of True Regeneration. The FDA’s policy assumes that similar lasers can regenerate bone because the PerioLase MVP-7 dental laser has proven it can regenerate bone when following the LANAP protocol. Yet, we know different dental lasers interact with the human body differently – so how can all laser treatments for gum disease be equally effective?

So what does it all mean?

The key difference in Millennium Dental’s FDA clearance for True Regeneration is that it contains the phrase “when used specifically in the LANAP protocol,” meaning that all of the data and studies that were supplied to achieve clearance of the new clinical outcome of True Regeneration use one specific laser treatment – the LANAP protocol. Only the LANAP protocol has the scientific evidence demonstrating regeneration of bone and tissues. Every doctor who purchases a PerioLase MVP-7 dental laser to perform the LANAP protocol must take rigorous, mandatory training to ensure they are clinically calibrated to perform the LANAP protocol. This mandatory training takes place over 12 months. Dentists who say they are performing the LANAP protocol but who have not had the proper training have been fined by dental boards for not practicing to the LANAP standard of care. On the other hand, many other dental laser procedures do not require hands-on training and procedures are rarely if ever taught in traditional dental school settings.

When analyzing the key differences between laser treatments for gum disease, make sure you’re asking the right questions:

  • Is your dentist a LANAP-trained clinician?
  • If not, can s/he refer you to one? (You can also find a LANAP clinician in your area on your own.)
  • Is the dentist using a PerioLase MVP-7 (Nd:YAG) dental laser? Be advised that although other lasers claim the same results, they have not been proven to do so.
  • Is having a “cheaper” treatment that is far less likely to be successful worth the price of unsuccessful results or potential damage?

The choice is yours, but be aware that not all laser treatments are created equally.

Recap

  • Millennium Dental’s FDA clearance for True Regeneration was based on 40 pages of scientific evidence that was carefully scrutinized.
  • After Millennium Dental received the clearance in 2016, one other laser company received a “me too” clearance, which was not subjected to the same level of scrutiny or evidence.
  • Critically, Millennium Dental’s True Regeneration clearance contains the phrase “when used specifically in the LANAP protocol” — meaning no other laser treatment protocol has been shown to achieve the same results of bone and tissue regrowth.
  • Other laser companies may claim they can achieve True Regeneration, but their lack of research speaks for itself.
April 10, 2018 No Comments

The Alarming Link Between Untreated Gum Disease and Oral Cancer

Oral cancer accounts for just 2-4% of all cancers, but that number is on the rise. Because of the lack of pain associated with oral cancer, early detection and treatment plans are unfortunately rare. Gum disease is also often undertreated due to a lack of noticeable symptoms. Gum disease, if left untreated, can have a whole host of effects on your mouth and body — including the loss of your teeth. New research suggests that gum disease and oral cancer may be more related than we thought.

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February 20, 2018 No Comments

Gum Disease Awareness: An Expert’s Panel Answers Your Questions

Despite epidemic levels of gum disease in the United States – the majority of adults having some level of gum disease – most of us are unaware of the signs, symptoms or even why it is important to be treated.  We’ve brought together a panel of experts to answer your gum disease questions. February is Gum Disease Awareness Month – it’s time to be more informed on this all too common disease.

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February 5, 2018 No Comments

Gum Disease Awareness Month: 3 Reasons Why You Should Care

As you’ve probably gathered from our website, gum disease awareness is something we are concerned with 24/7, 365 days a year. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important to observe that February is Gum Disease Awareness (GDA) Month, now going into its sixth year. GDA is now recognized in all 50 U.S. states, as well as the territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands. Here are the top three reasons why it’s so important that you and everyone else know why this distinction came to be in the first place — and what you can do to keep the momentum going.

 

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December 19, 2017 No Comments

5 Reasons Why Improving Your Oral Health Should Be Your First New Year’s Resolution

It’s that time of year where everyone plans for how they’re going to improve their lives in the new year. Maybe you wanted to drop those pesky 10lbs, or maybe you’re looking to quit smoking. Maybe your resolution is to start reading more or pick up gardening. Whatever the case may be, we all know the dreadful success rates associated with New Year’s Resolutions.

Good news — if you want to prove to yourself you can stick with a resolution and improve your health at the same time, look no further than your bathroom sink. Making a commitment to your oral health is a simple step you can take to ensure you keep your smile in good shape for 2018 and beyond. Here are five reasons why improving your oral health should be a priority for the new year.

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November 1, 2017 No Comments

Gum Disease Treatment May Be the Key to Fighting Off Alzheimer’s Disease

Gum disease is so common that it could accurately be described as an epidemic — as many as 85% of U.S. adults have some form of the disease. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they have the condition, and those who do often brush it off as not a big deal.

Conversely, Alzheimer’s affects roughly 5 million Americans, with that number projected to reach 16 million by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s also the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., causing more than breast and prostate cancer combined.[1] Rightfully so, it is a leading concern to many, especially those who are older or who are caring for older relatives.

You may ask why these two conditions are being brought up in the same conversation. According to new research, having advanced gum disease may increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.[2][3] READ MORE

October 22, 2017 No Comments

These 5 Halloween Candies are the Worst for Your Teeth

Ghosts, goblins, ghouls and gum disease — all things you should be on the look out for this Halloween.

Your kids are most likely thrilled to hit the town this Halloween in their best costume and gather up as many sweets as possible. We also know you’re probably a little excited too — don’t worry, we won’t mention those treats you snagged from your kids’ bags when they weren’t looking.

While Halloween candy is often referenced as something that wreaks havoc on teeth, do you know the types in particular that are especially bad for your oral health? Check out the list below and make sure to keep an eye out for them in your trick or treaters’ bags.

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September 15, 2017 No Comments

Double Dipping is Gross — And Can Be Bad For Your Overall Health

We’ve all been there before. You’re in the midst of a fun party — the music sounds great, the conversation is flowing, and you’re having a fantastic time. Then, out of the corner of your eye, you see it. Wait, did Paul just double dip in the salsa?

Once your mild disgust passes, you continue on with the party — carefully avoiding the bowls Paul eats out of. But did you know that double dipping could actually have a profound effect on the rest of your body? You read right: double dipping can be bad for your overall health.

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