If you have sensitive teeth, most likely you have receding gums, and/or periodontal disease. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, (Feb 2003) 88 percent of people in the United States above age 64 have one or more teeth with receding gums. 50 percent of people 18-64 years old have gum tissue recession. The presence and extent of recession increase with age, although it is never considered “normal.”
Left untreated, receding gums not only look unsightly, they can create severe sensitivity because the roots of the teeth become exposed, allowing bacteria to penetrate the teeth and enter the nerves. Gum Recession can even lead to more painful corrective procedures such as root canals, and is evidence of bone loss. Eventually, teeth may become loose and can even be lost. For decades, painful, traditional skin grafting was the only way to repair receded gums.
If you are already seeing signs of gum recession and you’d like to do something about it but are worried that the treatment will be complicated and painful, put your mind—and your gums—at ease.
In the past, the grafting procedure to treat gum tissue recession required cutting a significant piece of skin from the roof of your mouth and grafting it in place with stitches, onto the roots involved. Because this method is invasive, it is typically only performed on a few teeth at once.
With such traditional gum grafting procedures, the recovery is very painful and takes up to three weeks.
So what’s new in the world of receding gums? Fortunately, thanks to a procedure called the Pinhole Surgical Technique™, years of gum recession can now be corrected on several teeth in about one hour. No cutting, no sutures, no grafting of skin from the roof of the mouth, minimal to no discomfort and no swelling.
Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha of Port Warwick Dental Arts in Newport News is the first dentist in Virginia and one of the first 100 dentists in the world licensed to perform the Pinhole Technique™ for treating receding gums.
Although against Dr. Samaha’s strict orders, a local Williamsburg physician who is a patient of Dr. Samaha’s said he had been told to have his gums grafted for many years but kept putting it off because he had heard reports of severe pain and long recovery. After having eight teeth grafted in just one hour with the Pinhole Technique™, the patient stated:
“I felt so good [after the procedure] that I went home and ran four miles! The next morning, I raked my leaves! The procedure was very comfortable and easy. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Samaha for always bringing her leading-edge expertise to the table.”
The unique Pinhole Technique™ involves the use of intricately designed and patented instruments that loosen the gum tissue so it can glide gently over the receded part of the tooth where it can re-anchor.
Collagen is used to hold the tissue in its new position. The aesthetic results are instantaneous and recovery time is minimal. In fact, people who have the procedure done in the morning are capable of enjoying pain-free chewing by dinner time, says Dr. John Chao, who developed the revolutionary procedure for dentistry, and personally trained Dr. Samaha.
Dr. Samaha applauds Dr. Chao for his 20 years of research and development. “The procedure is truly revolutionary and Dr. Chao is a true gift to dentistry. I am deeply grateful to have the opportunity to provide a service to my patients that replaces traditional gum grafting procedures–a process that now seems crude, in comparison,” says Samaha.
Dr. Chao has perfected the procedure for over 20 years and in 2013 began training their doctors. Revolutionary and effective, the technique was published in 2012 in the prestigious International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry, showing an identical level of success when compared to the very best of traditional gum grafting techniques. The Pinhole Technique™ has been featured on dozens of prime news shows, including “The Doctors” in January 2014.
Dr. Chao, impressed with Dr. Samaha’s skill and dedication has personally asked Dr. Samaha to officially share her expertise in teaching other dentists with her success in the Pinhole Surgical Technique™.
“I am so honored to be one of the small number of dentists certified to perform this procedure and I’m very excited to be able to offer it to the people of Hampton Roads,” says Dr. Samaha. “The fact that the process is so gentle yet so effective is going to help ease people’s fear of having treatment for their often unsightly and uncomfortable receding gums, ultimately leading to better tooth and gum health for all of them. Eating a relaxing dinner can even be part of the agenda the night of the procedure. It’s back to work, fun or whatever your pleasure, the very next day. The receded gums are repaired, the roots covered immediately and everything looks beautiful right away. With the older technique, it might be days before a meal can be enjoyed.”
The best part of the Pinhole Surgical Technique™ is that the effects are predictable, comfortable and long-lasting. With proper care and regular dental checkups, patients who have had the procedure are maintaining healthy gums for years.
Protect your teeth and gums and keep your smile beautiful. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this procedure can be done and even more astonished by how it can improve your dental health and overall appearance.
Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha, a general dentist, is nationally recognized as a leader in comprehensive, cosmetic, periodontal and reconstructive dental care.