New methods for treating medical conditions and diseases are always being developed. Arthroscopy has allowed surgeons to be minimally invasive gaining access in orthopedic surgery. LASIK has developed laser use for correcting vision. Dentistry now has lasers and techniques to treat periodontal disease in a minimally invasive way . Periodontal disease is one of the most common medical conditions facing our adult population. As many as 80% of thirty-five year olds are affected by periodontal disease. Two phases exist in periodontal disease. The early stage, Gingivitis, is a bacterium caused gum inflammation. Untreated gingivitis progresses into a chronic condition, affecting the bone supporting the teeth called Periodontitis. Many people don’t even know they have periodontal disease until they risk losing teeth. Symptoms of Periodontal disease include: bleeding gums during brushing, swollen and tender gums, gums that recede away from the teeth, loose teeth, chronic bad breath, changes in the way teeth come together and pus between teeth and gums. However, the most common symptom is no symptoms until it is too late to prevent some permanent damage. Studies link the bacteria from periodontal disease to heart disease, diabetes and low birth weight babies. These bacteria need to be destroyed while still in the mouth. U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved a laser treatment that can be performed in a dental office. The Nd:YAG laser uses light energy directed through a tiny, glass fiber, it removes diseased tissue and aids in the reduction of bacteria associated with periodontal disease. When the infected area is thoroughly cleaned, the body can heal itself. Laser periodontal therapy kills bacteria in the mouth, minimizes discomfort, eliminates bleeding, controls swelling, requires a shorter time in the chair, is less invasive and has faster healing times than conventional scalpel surgery. The laser allows for no scalpels, no sutures and no post-surgical packing materials. The laser’s use in periodontal treatment allows for comparable end results to more traditional and conventional therapies. Successful results in dentistry are possible using different methods. Laser periodontal surgery is just one of these. Recent FDA Approval (510K 03029) has further validated Laser Gum Treatment and confirmed the procedure as Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (cementum-mediated new periodontal attachment to the root surface in the absence of long junctional epithelium). The laser’s use in dentistry will continue to increase as dentists strive to provide better patient care. Patients will be able to take advantage of this more friendly treatment procedure from this exciting developing laser technology. Dr. Craig Long was one of the first dentists to start using Periolase laser for gum treatment. He has been a Certified Instructor for the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry for over 10 years. He teaches, lectures, and trains other dentists in Laser Dentistry and LANAP surgical protocol. We are fortunate to have Dr. Long as part of our team and take care of our patients!