Laser Bacterial Reduction (LBR)
LBR is performed during a periodontal cleaning. The dental laser is used to destroy colonies of bacteria which have invaded the oral tissues. During the periodontal disease process, collagen fibers are stretched, and voids are created in the tissue. Theses voids are the perfect place for bacteria to hide and grow. In order to halt the disease process, these bacteria must be destroyed. The most effective way to destroy the colony of bacteria is through LBR.
Periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults and is a growing epidemic in our society. Understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years. We now know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the pockets around teeth. As such, we now not only treat periodontitis with removal of mechanical irritants and diseased tissue (your normal cleaning) but are also addressing the underlying infection that causes it. With that thought in mind, we recommend that all of our patients have their teeth decontaminated prior to cleaning appointments for three major reasons:
1. To reduce or eliminate bacteremias. During the normal cleaning process, most patients will have some areas that may bleed. This allows bacteria that are present in all of our mouths to flood into the bloodstream and sometimes settle in weakened areas of our body, such as a damaged heart valve, artificial knee or hip, etc. We pre-medicate those patients that we know have a heart condition or artificial joints with antibiotics so that these bacteria cannot cause harm to these areas. Latest research shows that these oral pathogens have now been linked to a number of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, low birth-weight babies, diabetes, etc. Needless to say, anything we can do to reduce or eliminate these bacteremias is a positive for our 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 bacterial infection in one area of your mouth and move it to others.
3. To kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop their infections before they cause physical destruction or loss of tissue attachment around your teeth.
The laser decontamination process is painless and normally takes about 5 – 10 minutes. We highly recommend that you take advantage of this service as part of your routine cleaning.
FAQ’s About LBR
Does it hurt?
No! In fact, most patients do not even feel the laser treatment at all. A lot of our patients have informed us this is their favorite part of the routine cleaning appointment. In cases of severe periodontal disease, the patient is already anesthetized.
Are there any side effects?
Yes, your gums will heal much more quickly.
Post-operative discomfort related to periodontal cleaning in greatly reduced.
Post-Operative bleeding is minimized.
Are you using the laser to cut my gums?
NO, absolutely not! A specific setting is used that prevents cutting of oral tissues during LBR. This is a very safe procedure.
Are there any other benefits to LBR?
Yes, your risk of relapse of periodontal infection is greatly reduced.
All the side effects listed above are also benefits.
As you can see LBR is a great way to help treat periodontal disease. Call us today and schedule your cleaning and LBR. With the benefits of laser treatment, you can greatly increase the chances of maintaining your teeth healthy for a lifetime.