Guilt-Free Treatment with the LANAP® Protocol

May 3, 2021

Guilt-Free Treatment with the LANAP® Protocol

James I. Matia, DDS, MSD


Welcome to Dentistry for the New Millennium. I’m Marty Klein, Training Manager at the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry. My guest today is Dr. Jim Matia, a periodontist in Wooster, Ohio. Dr. Matia graduated from Ohio State University College of Dentistry, and later earned a certificate in periodontics as well as Masters of Science from Case Western Reserve School of Dentistry. He has achieved diplomate status with the American Board of Periodontology. Dr. Matia, thanks so much for being my guest today.

Dr. Jim Matia:  Well, thank you. It’s my pleasure to be here.

Marty Klein:  Now, you were first trained in LANAP a little over 10 years ago, in 2010. So let’s start from that point – how you first became aware of LANAP and then what persuaded you to get trained?

Dr. Jim Matia:  OK. My grad perio training at Case Western Reserve, Henry Greenwell was two years ahead of me in the grad program. Henry then later became chairman of Grad perio, at the University of Louisville Dental School. I’ve known Henry obviously then for many years. I saw him at one of our AAP meetings, and he began to discuss with me that they were using the Periolase and the LANAP protocol at Louisville. He recommended that I look into it. He said, “This really works well!” When I got home, he forwarded me a list of four or five other periodontists that we’re using it. Henry is about as honest of a gentleman as you will ever meet in your life, so I took his word. That certainly meant a great deal to me. I called those other periodontists, and they all told me to get the laser. I decided to go ahead and make the leap or whatever and do it. I think at the time I did my training in 2010, February 2010, I believe I was in the first group at the BootCamp that was all periodontists, like, we had 14 periodontists. They said that was the first time the entire group was periodontists. Actually, that BootCamp training that was some of my finest CE in all of my dental career, which now spans over 40 years.

Marty Klein:  And what do you mean by that? How was it some of your finest CE?

Dr. Jim Matia:  You know, it was just very well put together. The people that lectured really, I thought, knew their information. I felt because it was all periodontists, we really had some great Q and A. I really felt comfortable. They really went over the research and the literature on it, then the protocol. Then, of course, we did do some cases at that BootCamp and just after seeing so many before and after cases, I just couldn’t wait to get back to the office and begin to use it. I think it’s really all of that, if I had to sum it up.

Marty Klein:  Now, had you considered the use of lasers for periodontitis surgery before this point, or did you have any experience with lasers?

Dr. Jim Matia:  I had not. I had heard of some other lasers. I had heard more negative than positive, but I had heard that Millennium was the company that really wanted to train you before they just sold you a laser and sent you home to start to use it. I really like that. The fact that I really could have this training and then I would know what I was doing, really from the beginning. I did hear of some other lasers but actually, I didn’t hear a lot of positivity, but I had heard much better things about Millennium and the PerioLase.

Marty Klein:  All right. So you have some very strong colleague recommendations. You’ve seen the befores and afters and you come to training, you have a great experience at training. But all of that wouldn’t matter if this didn’t really work for you when you got back to your practice. So tell me the next part of what happens after you started doing this for yourself.

Dr. Jim Matia:  Well, I had many patients in my practice that were scheduled for traditional osseous surgery, typically with some bone grafting I would do in conjunction with that, which was kind of my standard prior to my PerioLase training. So I just contacted those patients and said that we were using a new technology, and it was this laser technology. They were very receptive when they heard they weren’t going to have sutures and this was going to be much less invasive, much easier post operatively. Then all of the new patients that came in, that typically would have received my traditional osseous surgery treatment, we treatment plan them right from the beginning to do LANAP. So I really hit the ground running hard with both feet, which was a little bit unnerving in the beginning because it is a paradigm shift. But I had confidence after all the before and after that I saw. I just said, “This is going to work. I just know it.” And it did. It did. It changed my practice.

Marty Klein:  Has that been consistent? Then over the last 10 years, you said it changed your practice. So how did it change your practice?

Dr. Jim Matia:  You know, I think that it made life as a periodontist easier for me. My longtime assistants said after about five years of doing LANAP, “Dr. Matia, we don’t have the postoperative problems we used to have years ago; the sensitive teeth and this type of thing, and we just weren’t seeing that with LANAP.” So to be able to practice and to deliver really good service for a patient, and then not to hurt them it was really wonderful for me. I have to say out of everything I have encountered in my periodontal training, I would say hurting people with a surgical procedure is one of the hardest things for me, still, to this day. I don’t like it when patients come in and they’re in pain after something that I did. Doing LANAP really dramatically reduces that.

Marty Klein:  I noticed, too, that you work with another periodontist, Dr. Lemke, in your practice, and he came for training in 2014. So that was four years after you. Then your practice acquired a second PerioLase three years after that. So this is all kind of telling one story, I think, but I’d like to hear from you about that decision making process to get him trained and then the second Periolase unit.

Dr. Jim Matia:  Yeah, well, he actually was trained before he came to me. He started to work with me in 2015, and he had already had his training. We do have two offices, and so we decided that sometimes we are split up and he’s in one office, and I’m in the other office. And we just decided it was just wise to get a second laser.

Marty Klein:  It can’t be in two places at the same time. But that’s a testament to how many times you need it in both places.

Dr. Jim Matia:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I do. I do use it a lot. I will say, even after I do connective tissue grafts, or if I do a traditional crown lengthening, or I do an extraction bone graft for site development for an implant, I’ll use the PerioLase. I’ll put it on the biostimulation mode, up to six watts and then I will biostim, I biostim quite a bit in the practice. So even if I do a frenotomy on a young orthodontic patient, I’ll biostim at a few, 100 joules or whatever, for everybody just to make their overall surgical procedure experience, hopefully easier. So yes, I do use it a lot.

Marty Klein:  I need to point out the biostimulation, although used by so many of our users, is not an FDA-cleared procedure.

Dr. Jim Matia:  That is true. That is true.

Marty Klein:  I just have to sneak that in.

Dr. Jim Matia:  They were very clear. Dr. Yukna was clear about that when we did our initial training. But we still have used it. I tell you, I’ve used it on some TMJ patients with some severe muscle pain, and I’ve got a really nice results with it.

Marty Klein:  Your website, I noticed, mentions you having completed over 5,000 laser surgical procedures. Are all of those with the PerioLase?

Dr. Jim Matia:  Yeah, Yeah. Those are all what the PerioLase.

Marty Klein:  I also noticed that you have some background in the U. S. Navy and I wanted to make sure you were aware, or at least our listeners aware, that the Navy is training their postgraduate periodontal residents at Walter Reed in Bethesda on the LANAP protocol. Did you have some thoughts on that? Are you jealous of them?

Dr. Jim Matia:  I think it’s great. I have a high regard for Navy dentistry. I had a good experience. When I was in, I was not a periodontist. I was a general dentist, just completed my dental training at Ohio State when I was commissioned. But I actually became interested in periodontics because of my time in the Navy. And I know that it doesn’t surprise me. I think the Navy may have been the first branch of the military to incorporate the PerioLase, and that doesn’t surprise me.

Marty Klein:  We have currently both the Navy and the Army doing the same.

Dr. Jim Matia:  All right.

Marty Klein: One last item here, the title of your master’s thesis was “Efficiency of Scaling of the Molar Bifurcation Area With and Without Surgical Access.” I’m just curious if that relates to your use of the LANAP protocol now.

Dr. Jim Matia:  Well, certainly, achieving bone regeneration in furcations is a challenge within the specialty of periodontists. For sure, it always has been. I have had some pretty good luck using the LANAP protocol. It doesn’t always give you complete bone regeneration every time, but it does, I think it does as well as bone grafting ever did. And again, it’s easier for the patient.

Marty Klein:  Well, I want to give your practice website a plug for anyone listening here. That is, and invite our listeners here to subscribe to the podcast, if you haven’t yet. All of our previously released episodes are available online at Dr. Matia, I want to thank you as well for sharing your expertise and experience with us today.

Dr. Jim Matia: You’re very welcome. It’s my pleasure.