Technology has changed almost every aspect our lives, and dentistry is no different. One of the exciting developments is the advancement of laser dental treatment. We are constantly learning and striving to advance the standard of patient care within dentistry, and in our own office. Many practices are adding a new procedure that complements routine cleanings and can help fight periodontal disease – Laser Pocket Disinfection.

Periodontal disease affects approximately 85% of adults and is a growing epidemic. Our understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years. We now know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection around teeth. Specific types of pathogenic bacteria collect in pockets between your gums and teeth; as they multiply, they destroy the bone that holds your teeth in place.

As such, we need to not only treat Periodontal Disease with removal of mechanical irritants and diseased tissue (your normal cleaning) but we also need to address the underlying infection. With that thought in mind we’re now recommending that all of our patients have their teeth decontaminated prior to their typical cleaning appointments for three major reasons.

  1. To reduce or eliminate bacteremias.  During the normal cleaning process, most patients will have areas that bleed, this allows bacteria to flood into the bloodstream and settle in weakened areas of our body such as a damaged heart valve, artificial knee, hip, narrowed blood vessel etc.  We pre-medicate patients that we know have a high risk of bacteremia induced system disease with antibiotics so that bacteria can’t damage artificial hips or clog our vascular system.  Latest research shows that oral pathogens have been linked to over 20 different disease states such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, low birth weight babies, diabetes etc.  Needless to say, anything we can do to reduce or eliminate bacteremias is a positive for patients.
  2. To prevent cross contamination of infections in one area of your mouth to other areas. Decontamination minimizes the chance that we may inadvertently pick up disease causing bacteria in one area of your mouth and move it to others.  Periodontal disease is an infectious disease model that can be spread from person to person or from place to place within our own mouths.
  3. To kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop the infectious process before it develops far enough along to cause loss of attachment, bleeding and destruction of the gums and supporting tissues around your teeth.

Laser Pocket Disinfection is a quick, painless procedure taking approximately 10 minutes to perform.  We highly recommend you take advantage of this service as part of your routine cleaning appointment. The procedure is performed using the PerioLase MVP-7 dental laser. Make sure your doctor and hygienist are using this laser in particular.

The goal of this laser dental treatment is to eliminate the bacteria causing the inflammation and restore gums to a healthy pink.

Laser Pocket Disinfection cost varies by provider and is not covered by insurance. Unfortunately, insurance coverage is always behind the leading edge of health care. Insurance rarely if ever pays for the best care available.

Please ask your hygienist if you have any additional questions regarding this laser dental treatment.