Everything works better and lasts longer when you keep it clean - your house, your car, your tools - everything! This has always been one of our major concerns for our patients: making sure that every area in the mouth can be cleaned. The main area we are concerned about cleaning is the groove or sulcus between the tooth and gums.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease causes the groove or sulcus to get deeper so that it cannot be cleaned. As the sulcus gets deeper, bone is lost around the tooth. Teeth are like fence posts - if they are in a deep hole, they are solid. However, fence posts in shallow holes become loose and fall over while teeth with no bone become loose and fall out.
Traditional Periodontal (Gum) Treatment has included surgery to remove more bone and get the bone even so the gum tissue could be repositioned where the patient can clean all areas of the teeth again. A new alternative treatment utilizing a laser can actually regrow bone rather than remove more. Replacing lost bone (bone regeneration) to rebuild contours is so much more of a conservative treatment than removing MORE bone to develop a compromised contour.
In these radiographs (X rays), the straight line is a reference line located in the same spot for all 3 X rays. The top 2 X rays were taken in July, 2002. The lower red lines show the bone loss from two different angles. In the lower X ray (dated May, 2007), you can see the bone that has regrown following Laser Gum Treatment.
This second set of radiographs is the most amazing to me. Images #'s 1&2 show the bone loss from 2 different angles. All of the books at dental school tell us that the sulcus (groove between the tooth and gums) should measure somewhere between 0 and 2mm. Studies show us that a 3mm sulcus can be cleaned with toothbrush and dental floss, so 3mm is acceptable as well. Radiographs # 1&2 were taken May, 2004. The red line shows the bone loss that resulted in a 15mm pocket (deep sulcus). Radiograph #3 was taken February, 2007. The red line shows where the bone loss was, but it has filled in with new growth bone! In February 2007, the sulcus was 3mm - an improvement of 12mm - that's 1/2 inch! In traditional treatment, this tooth would have been diagnosed as hopeless, and would have been extracted. After Laser Gum Treatment, the bone has grown back, and the tooth is solid. Best of all is that the patient was able to keep her own tooth which would otherwise not be possible without Laser Gum Treatment and Bone Regeneration.