Laser Gum Surgery LANAP vs Traditional Gum Surgery

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Laser Gum Surgery (LANAP®) vs. Traditional Gum Surgery

While many people throughout the world have periodontal disease, or gum disease, only those who have reached an advanced stage require surgery. If you have been told that surgery is the best treatment for you, it is important to understand the different options that are available. Although LANAP® surgery and traditional gum surgery are both able to effectively treat gum disease, there are a few marked differences that may affect your preferred method of treatment.

A Brief Overview

When people have gum disease, bacteria begins to collect along their gum line. Over time, the gums start to detach from the root surface of the tooth creating a pocket. Remember... brushing and flossing can only clean down to 3-4 millimeter pockets. Anything deeper than that can not properly be cleaned and begins to eat away at the tissue causing deeper pockets. 

Both traditional and laser gum treatment are designed to reduce the depth of the pocket. When reducing the pocket depths with traditional gum surgery the periodontist will be manually reducing the pocket depth... meaning if you have a 6mm pocket the clinician will recess up to 3mm of tissue in order to reduce the depth. The problem is that once the tissue is cut away the teeth look longer and in many cases your teeth are very sensitive to cold and hot foods.

The reason why the laser is preferred in many cases is because it is very selective in the tissue that it removes. The laser can remove the bacteria without harming the healthy tissue resulting in little to no recession and sensitivity.

Major Differences

There are several major differences that make laser gum treatment the preferable option for people who have periodontal disease. The differences between these two treatments can be seen in several different areas. 

• Level of pain during and after treatment

• Lasting effects of gum recession

• Duration of healing after surgery

• Results over time


Traditional gum surgery is known for the a higher level of discomfort that it causes. Contrastingly, LANAP® is much less painful during, and following, the procedure. In fact, very few patients even need a prescription for pain medication after they have undergone this laser treatment.

Tissue Loss

Unlike traditional surgery, LANAP® allows patients to recover fully without the necessity of gum recession. This is particularly appealing because the negative effects of recession are both aesthetic and functional in nature.


Because the laser helps to control the clotting of blood and reduces inflammation, recovery time after LANAP® surgery is drastically reduced. It also does not require stitches or sutures.

Over Time

With the passage of time, patients who have undergone LANAP® often see a complete reversal of the effects of gum disease. Because the laser helps the tissue to reattach and promotes bone regrowth, its long term effects are favorable.

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