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Receding gums: A major issue affecting oral health

Family Features | 1/20/2014, 11:09 a.m.
Affecting nearly half of the U.S. population, gum recession is an oral health issue in which the gums have worn ...

Affecting nearly half of the U.S. population, gum recession is an oral health issue in which the gums have worn away, exposing teeth to damaging, disease-causing bacteria. While traditional treatments exist, they come with a painful surgery with a long recovery time. A new treatment option, however, offers better, nearly pain-free results for patients.

Gum recession and its traditional treatments For many, the issue of receding gums is caused by gum disease or from simply over-brushing the teeth and gums. While aging often comes into play, children can also be affected. In fact, 10 percent of children with braces suffer from gum recession.

While there is a surgical method to correct the issue, also known as gum grafting, the process can be very painful, requiring multiple surgical procedures and an extended recovery time. To perform this method, tissue from the roof of the mouth is cut, removed and surgically grafted onto the receding gum area. But thanks to a new technique, patients now have a less painful option for correcting this issue.

A new and improved method

This breakthrough method for treating gum recession is called the Pinhole Surgical Technique. Invented and patented by John Chao, D.D.S., the procedure is incision-free and suture-free. To correct the problem, Chao uses a fine needle to create a small pinhole above the receded gums. With special instruments the gums are loosened from the underlying connective tissue and moved into the proper position. Finally, collagen strips are placed through the pinhole under the gums to keep them in place. The Pinhole Surgical Technique is “quick,” “easy,” and “instantly pleasing.” It is quick because it takes only 15 to 20 minutes to correct gum recession for two or three teeth. It is “easy” on the patient because no incisions or stitching is required. Hence, there are hardly any symptoms of discomfort afterwards. It is “instantly pleasing” because the gum line looks practically normal immediately after the procedure is completed. Many patients are astounded by the “instant” change in appearance.

Factors for patients

While costs of both procedures are comparable, there are several factors for patients to consider. Traditional gum grafting from another place in the mouth requires several incisions and generally can only correct one to two teeth per surgical visit, which can take up to two hours to complete. PST, on the other hand, involves no incisions, can correct 10 to 14 teeth per visit and only takes about 20 minutes to treat three teeth. Also, the Pinhole is practically healed and disappears by the next day, while gum grafting can take up to three weeks to heal.

Coming to a town near you

Due to the popularity of the new technique, Chao is training the PST procedure to dentists around the world. This allows patients from the U.S. and all over the world to take part in this innovative new procedure. For information about dentists in your area who perform the procedure, visit http://www.pinholesurgicaltechnique.com or call 626-308-9104 for more information.