Rescue Mission

Noninvasive procedure saves teeth, restores smile.

Claudia Capasso was only six years old when her family moved from her native Colombia to the United States. Along with her favorite toys, Claudia brought to her new home a susceptibility to gum disease that began taking its toll in adulthood.

Patient photos by Nerissa Johnson.

Claudia Capasso

“I found out the problem was hereditary after I first started having some serious issues with it several years ago,” explains Claudia, now 53. “I’ve always taken good care of my teeth, but for years, brushing was uncomfortable because they bled so badly.”
The problem Claudia has suffered from is periodontitis. In addition to causing bleeding gums, it can also result in bone loss to the extent that the teeth are no longer salvageable. Claudia learned that news the hard way a couple years back.
“I found a dentist and started getting regular cleanings,” Claudia says. “But the cleanings were always very painful, and when they didn’t do anything to stop the bleeding, the dentist told me I was going to need to have all my teeth taken out.”
Horrified by the prospect of losing all her teeth as well as the cost of a full set of upper and lower dentures, Claudia began searching for a new dentist. After some time, her search led her to C. Nicholas DeTure, DMD, at Stuart Periodontics.
“When Claudia first came to us, she had very advanced gum disease,” Dr. DeTure confirms. “Given that she had been seeing another dentist for regular cleanings, it was clear to me that the hygienist she had been seeing previously was undertreating her.
“They weren’t cleaning her teeth effectively; they were polishing them. In an effort to not hurt her during her cleaning, they were undertreating her and essentially were waiting for her teeth to get so bad that they’d all have to be pulled.”
As bad as Claudia’s situation was, it was not hopeless. Dr. DeTure pointed out that she could save most of her teeth by undergoing a state-of-the-art gum treatment called LANAP, which stands for Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure.

Equally Effective

“Because LANAP uses a laser that gently stimulates the gum tissue without the need for incisions or stitches, it’s less invasive than traditional periodontal disease treatments, yet it’s equally effective,” Dr. DeTure notes.
Once Claudia agreed to the treatment, Dr. DeTure began his work on her by doing a bacterial analysis of her gums to determine the specific bacteria that were affecting her and what antibiotic would work best to get rid of them.
“That’s a step that few dentists take. What we are looking for are mobile forms of bacteria,” Dr. DeTure says. “Some of these forms of bacteria occur normally in the mouth at low levels, but when they overgrow, that’s when they cause damage. The analogy I often use is that it’s okay to have a cat and a dog. But if you have a thousand cats and dogs, then you’ve got a problem.”
Using the results of the culture as his guide, Dr. DeTure performed the LANAP procedure on all of Claudia’s upper and lower gums. The results, Claudia reports, were miraculous.
“I don’t take pain well, but I had no problems with the LANAP procedure,” she says. “The treatment was great, and now, I have no more discomfort or bleeding, and the best thing is,
Dr. DeTure saved all my teeth.
“I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that other dentist and found Dr. DeTure. I recommend him to anyone who is having problems with their teeth or gums.”

Print This Article
    • Stuart Periodontics, PA

      For a healthier mouth and a more beautiful smile, visit a respected periodontist in Stuart, FL. Dr. DeTure and his caring staff of professionals are dedicated to keeping you feeling and looking your best. Their team offers first rate dental c... Read More

    • C. Nicholas DeTure, DMD

      C. Nicholas DeTure, DMD, is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry and completed three years of graduate training in periodontology and implantology at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. He is a Diplomate of the Amer... Read More