November 23, 2020
Sam R. Moss, DDS
Marty Klein: 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. Sam Moss, a general dentist in Lafayette, Louisiana. Dr. Moss graduated from the LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans and has been a trained LANAP clinician since 2003. He’s also serves as a certified instructor with the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry since 2007. Dr. Moss, thanks so much for joining me today.
Dr. Sam Moss: Thank you, Marty.
MK: I first like to start by going all the way back to when you first heard of LANAP. We know that you’ve been trained for 17 years now, but take me back before that and what you first heard. And then what persuaded you to start LANAPing yourself?
SM: I first heard of a procedure that two dentists in California were doing to be able to grow bone and connective tissue back for patients that had periodontal disease. I was using a Waterlase at that time. I found out at the ALD convention that doctors Gregg and McCarthy were there. So I went to their room, we talked about it, and I was just waiting to hear some positive science. They were talking about Ray Yukna’s study that was gonna be coming forth. Dr. Yukna was my bay instructor at LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans, and he said, “Sam, this procedure works. It worked on 100% of my cases, and it’s amazing.” So at that point I went back to my home and my wife and my friends and I said, “I’m all in!” So I bought the laser and I’ve never looked back.
MK: The one part that really stood out just then is, “It worked on 100% of my cases.” That almost seems too good to be true. Did you find that to be the case after you started doing LANAP yourself?
SM: Well, I found that every person is different. The cases that I was doing, it just takes time for the case to mature. I have one case in particular that we’ll talk about in a minute, but you just have to let the time go by, and it just gets better and better and better the results.
MK: Now, did you have experience with lasers prior to that? And if so, did you continue to use other lasers after learning the LANAP protocol?
SM: Well, I had a Waterlase, and I tried to use it for bone regeneration and it didn’t work. Now I use that laser for other applications, as far as decay goes and cutting bone and so forth. But, the periodontal portion…I could not go back because what I was getting was actual bone regeneration. I was getting connective tissue attachment, and I was getting people that were getting healthy and staying healthy.
MK: I’d like to point out that you have quite a distinction. You are one of 30 or so who have achieved both a mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry and Accreditation in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. So your emphasis on cosmetics is apparent, and I’d like to ask a little more about how the PerioLase has complemented those pursuits over the years.
SM: Well, it’s made a huge difference to my patients. People come in all the time wanting to improve their smile. That’s what I was known for, am known for. When they came in and their teeth were loose, the breath was terrible, they had mobile teeth, and I would try to explain. “You can’t put porcelain and prepare crowns and bridges on teeth that have a terrible foundation.” And once I started to explain it and we started doing the procedure, then people started getting healthy, their breath improved, their mobility was nonexistent, and the gums were healthy. I was able then to either send them out for orthodontics or do the cosmetic dentistry that I was trained to do. It made for a much happier and much more stable cosmetic practice.
MK: Now I understand that you have a particular patient back from when Hurricane Katrina came through. Can you tell me a little bit about that case?
SM: Yes, I can. So it was a few weeks before, it was in July 2005 that I performed the LANAP procedure, full-mouth procedure, on her. She had had terrible bone levels, mobile teeth, bleeding gums. She did the procedure, and I got to see her a month afterwards to do her one-month cleaning, and things were looking a little bit better. She wasn’t the most compliant patient for two years. When she comes back, my hygienist comes in after taking her FMX and cleaning her teeth, and comes in and says, “Dr. Moss, you have to come and see what has happened to your patient!” and she runs out of the room. I’m thinking, “Oh my God, they’re gonna have teeth in her purse or whatever.” I walk in, I see the X-rays, and I looked at the lady and she’s just smiling ear to ear. The bone regeneration that had happened was amazing! She was in such healthy, good shape. We had given her a night guard that she took right before hurricane hit. And so that just told me something. That told me that this is a procedure – that it’s not an instantaneous result, and you just have to wait and let good things happen. You take out disease and you give your body a chance, the mouth a chance, to heal and it will. So that was a big eye-opening moment for me early in my LANAPing career.
MK: I have heard from many LANAP clinicians over the years that the healing result only gets better over the years.
SM: I found that after the year one we’re going back in and we’re probing at that point and taking that FMX and you know everything’s looking good. The second year it looks better. Third year looking better, 4th and 5th year, it starts to kind of level off. Nothing is forever, but this last a long time, and patients are so happy. If they have to have a spot retreated here and there, it’s not a problem. They are so happy that they have their teeth, that if we could do something to help them keep them a little bit longer, they’re all in.
MK: Well, your passion for LANAP is certainly coming through, and it must have been that way early on, as you became an instructor in 2007. So I’d like to ask a little bit more about your time as an instructor and seeing other dentists and periodontist learning LANAP over the years. In the last 13 years that you’ve been teaching students, what have you observed over the years from the other dentists learning LANAP? Have their attitudes changed over time?
SM: Well, it’s a new era now. In the very beginning, people were coming in wide eyed. You know, did I drink the Kool Aid? Am I’m going to believe in this? Now we have so much science, so much history behind the LANAP procedure that doctors that come in to train are expecting this to work. Not hoping it’s gonna work, they’re expecting it to work. So that’s one thing that I’ve noticed as of late, with people coming in to train. Me being able to become an instructor. I was a late E5-er, and when I came in I maybe had started to develop a couple of habits that were not conducive to the great results that I was gonna be getting for the rest of my career. And so I was asking Dr. Gregg, I said, “Well, this seems a little different from what I learned it before” and he said, “You just have to keep up. You just have to keep up.” When I say late E5-er, there’s evolutions. There’s the BootCamp, that’s three days. Evolution 4 is six months later, you learn how to use different aspects of the PerioLase for other procedures. Day 5/”E” 5 is where you learn to be able to use two different other fibers for those special cases that you may have. So I was a late E5-er, and Dr. Gregg had said, “You just need to keep up.” So I said, “Well, the only way I’m gonna be able to keep up to become an instructor.” Becoming an instructor has just been one of the brightest parts of my dental career. Being able to come out because I always learn something new every time I come out, I apply something new from the students from other doctors, other instructors that come out, and the patients that we treated over the years that come back and are just ecstatic that there is a procedure that they were able to have done where they could keep their teeth.
MK: Well, that is all very wonderful to hear, and nothing we haven’t heard before. But I would like to ask one more thing, and that has to do with back in your home practice. I understand you sold your practice, but that you still work out of it. I’d like to hear more about how much you use your PerioLase still today, and also maybe just how it has helped extend your dental career.
SM: Well, I want to tell you that when I first got the laser, I used the laser every day. Multiple patients, not just for LANAP, but I mean for general dentistry concerns: troughing teeth, treating herpetic lesions, just a number of things, for infection, root canals, this infection. So I used it every day when I was practicing full time. Now that I practice part time, which I come in one day a week when I’m in town, and they load me up with LANAP patients and surgical patients. When we extract teeth, we clean that socket with the laser to make sure we’re getting out the infection, so we have a good, solid bone graft that will be able to accept an implant. I still use it on just about every patient that I see for general dentistry purposes and LANAP.
MK: Wow, that’s an important point I think, that the PerioLase MVP-7 is primarily used for the LANAP Protocol, but it has so many other uses. In fact, you just said that you use it on every patient.
SM: Yes, multiple uses. And the one thing that that you have to realize is that science that’s involved that you get in your basic BootCamp is what backs your whole thought process for the rest of your career. Learning the science and applying the science, not listening to what other people say about this, that or the other. If it if it’s scientifically plausible and correct, then you can go with that. That that has been a major driving force and how I’ve used the laser for everything.
MK: Well, I appreciate your enthusiasm and your continued service as one of our certified instructors. I would like to point out for listeners to please subscribe to this podcast if you haven’t yet. All episodes can also be found at LANAP.com/Podcast. Dr. Moss, Thank you again for sharing your story with me.
SM: Thank you, Marty. It was great, and I hope to see you again soon.