Usually, we divide the mouth into 4 quadrants and treat one quadrant of the mouth at a time. The surgical visits are ideally made two to 4 weeks apart, and take about an hour each on average. The mouth is numbed, just like if you were having a filling or crown done. The pockets are then measured while you are numb so that more accurate measurements can be made without causing discomfort. A first pass is made with the laser, giving the doctor access to the depth of the pockets and allowing better visualization of the teeth roots. Then the teeth are cleaned very thoroughly using ultrasonic instruments which have tips that vibrate very quickly. This loosens up any deposits on the teeth and flushes them away with an irrigating solution medicated with antibiotics. A second pass is made with the laser, disinfecting the pockets and sealing them up through the formation of a stable blood clot. The bite is then adjusted to minimize destructive, uneven clenching forces on the teeth.
Most people experience some mild soreness of the treated areas for the first few days. The tissue will appear discolored around the teeth, similar to what a scab looks like when you get it wet. It is very important NOT to brush or pick this away, as this fibrin barrier is what allows the gums underneath to get a head start creating a new attachment to the teeth.
Your bite will feel different as if the teeth don’t touch together as heavily on the treated side. This can feel imbalanced at first, but the teeth will quickly adapt. After both sides have been treated, as further refinements are made, your bite should feel stronger, more comfortable and more stable than ever.