Are Your Patients Receiving Out-Dated Information About Periodontal Disease?

Despite the fact that 80% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease, data suggests that less than 4% of patients with the disease receive treatment. The abysmal rate of treatment is especially disturbing because we are learning more about the importance of oral health in relation to a patient’s overall health.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, stated that:

  1. Oral health means much more than healthy teeth;
  2. Oral health is integral to general health;
  3. Most adults show signs of periodontal disease.

So why do so few patients receive treatment for this prevalent disease, especially when oral health is so crucial to their overall health and well-being? Part of the answer lies within the traditional treatment options for periodontal disease. These treatment options, especially surgical, are painful, invasive, and often produce unpredictable, undesirable and adverse effects. It is little wonder patients would avoid traditional treatments.

However, the bigger problem lies with education. Patients still don’t know the real dangers of periodontal disease, how serious it is to their health and that there is an available (LANAP) that isn’t invasive or painful.

Additionally, because in its early stages, periodontitis doesn’t cause pain, many people don’t perceive a need for treatment. Even worse, if your patients rely on the web instead of you, their dentist, for answers, chances are the information they’ll find is wrong. While laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP) has been available for about ten years and has quickly become the gold-standard for periodontal disease treatment, patients suffering from periodontitis still aren’t familiar with it. In fact, when searching on the web for information on how to treat gum disease or periodontal disease, many top websites have out-dated information.

For example, an article about Gum Disease on WebMD, a highly referenced website fails to even mention LANAP and lists treatment as “root planning and scaling”, “antibiotics” and/or “surgery”. another highly referenced site also fails to mention LANAP as does the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website.

The success and adoption of LANAP is easy to understand. But patients must be educated about it and if you aren’t doing it, chances are they will rely on the web. Unfortunately the web won’t tell them what they really need to know. Plus, it is also crucial they understand the risks of not seeking treatment. This means that you and your staff are the key to correcting this epidemic.

Let your patients know that with LANAP, there is no cutting and suturing, which means less pain and bleeding. Discuss the fact that recovery time is minimal and tissue restoration is usually quick – often improvement can be seen within weeks. Help them understand that LANAP targets only the bacteria that cause periodontitis and diseased tissue, leaving healthy tissue untouched so the body can focus on healing itself, including soft tissue and bone regeneration. You’ll also want to let your implant patients know that LANAP can be used to treat peri-implant disease to restore bone and tissue health for patients with implants.

Clinical Advances in Periodontics Article

Click on the above to read this very important article.

The above attached article further describes the advantages of LANAP over traditional periodontal disease treatments. The article highlights six case studies where LANAP was used. The cases present a variety of periodontal disease signs such as up to 15-mm pockets, osseous defects, and teeth with a poor prognosis.

In each of the cases, after the LANAP procedure was performed, the patients showed significant improvement. Probings were restored to normal limits, with reversal of symptoms observed within a week after treatment. Bone loss was reversed, and tooth loss was avoided. A Type II diabetes patient even reported a marked correction in blood glucose levels one month after treatment. These are great stories to reference when speaking with your patients.

My patients have also experienced these tremendous results with LANAP treatment. With LANAP, patients can expect treatment with virtually no bleeding or pain with predictable, consistent, desirable results.

Help fight this disease by educating your patients. If any of your patients show signs of periodontal or peri-implant disease, let them know that new treatment options such as LANAP are available to them. Have them contact our office here [] or call (904) 731-1324 to set up a consultation. With your help, we can reduce periodontal disease, and help your patients have the best overall health possible.