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The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique (TM)

Well, if you’re the patient getting operated on, maybe you don’t think it’s so cool. Unless you’re the rare exception who likes needles in your gums.

But you should be excited, because this technique will allow your gums to be shaped with minimal risk, pain, and down-time. Its inherently minimally invasive and low-maintenance. There is no cutting or suturing, and healing is quick.

This technique was developed fairly recently by a man named Dr. Chao, and it is taking off internationally as the preferred method of gum shaping after periodontal or gingival treatment.

Note that this is solely meant to restore the gum line for the purpose of aesthetics and functionality. It is not gum disease treatment, and it must be done in a disease-free mouth. So this is something I’d do after my patient has successfully undergone therapy for gum disease and only needs the gums to shrink back up around the teeth.

It sure beats the traditional method, however, of grafting gum tissue from another area of the mouth.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

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Gum Recession: The How and The Why

How do people end up with recessed gums? Gum recession is a common result brought about by gum disease  (or its more advanced stages of gingivitis and periodontitis) and abrasive over-brushing (brushing your teeth too harshly too often with the wrong brush). Perhaps poor dental work in the past has caused an imbalance in the mouth, possibly a bite malfunction that has, over time, negatively affected occlusal (bite) functionality.

As a side note, yes, even slight imbalances in bite mechanics can cause long-term diseases and vulnerabilities that seem unrelated. That’s why holistic dentistry is so important: we get to the root of the problem, considering the whole patient. If you try treating gum recession without first considering the possibility of TMJ problems, mercury poisoning and tissue rejection from amalgam fillings, or miscalculated restorations, you may only have to do it again, with poorer results each time.

So why is gum recession a problem? Recessed gums weaken and loosen the roots of teeth, exposing the vulnerable parts to physical injury and infectious bacteria. Gum recession sets the stage for tooth decay and tooth loss. Practicality aside, bad cases of gum recession are not aesthetically pleasing and may cause patients to be self-conscious.

In my next post, I’ll talk a little bit more about the Pinhole Surgery Technique (PST) by Dr. Chao that’s used to correct gum recession without surgery.

What about you? Have you had any experience with gum recession, or do you know someone else who has? News of this Pinhole Surgery Technique may be a welcome relief, then… or maybe something you wish your dentist knew a long time ago.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

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Treating Gum Recession with Dr. Chao’s Pinhole Surgical Technique (TM)

Traditionally, the way gum recession is treated is by performing gum grafts. Gum grafts are essentially stitching extra gum tissue (taken from elsewhere in the patient’s mouth) to the affected area, sewing everything up, and waiting several months for it to merge and heal and return the patient to normal. This method is effective and is how dentists are trained to treat more severe cases of gum recession. However, gum grafting is slow, invasive, riskier, and generally an involved, expensive process that interferes with the patient’s daily life.

That’s why I am so excited about the PST. If you saw the video I previously shared, you can see an illustration of the two methods compared side-by-side. The PST is a quick, simple, low-maintenance procedure with healthy and natural-looking results. I imagine patients would watch it and think, “Why on earth have dentists not come up with this sooner?” I agree. Sometimes solutions come along that are just so logical, so sensible, it makes you wonder why we even started out with more complicated treatments. Kudos to Dr. Chao!

PST is a method by which a tool is inserted directly into the gum tissue and is used to gently, partially separate the tissue from the underlying facial bones. The tool is like a hooked needle, which sounds awful, but it means nothing gets sliced up; the only mark left behind is — you guessed it — a little pinhole that heals up in a matter of hours.

After the insertion and loosening of the gum tissue, the gums are then pushed downward (or upward, depending on where we’re working) in sweeping motions around sterile teeth. When the gums are nice and cozy up against the teeth again, treatment is finished. Collagen is then inserted behind the gums to stabilize them and speed up the healing process.

Essentially, the Pinhole Technique not only physically manipulates the gums so that they once again surround and envelop the teeth, but also stimulates the surrounding area so the gums continue to grow and flourish and stay put in their proper place. A clean, disease-free environment is important, however, and this technique is not appropriate while gum disease is present.

Healing takes place in a matter of days, even overnight for some cases. The patient may not have to take time off work or interrupt his or her busy life. The pain and medical risks are minimal, if any. It is truly amazing, and I’m excited to incorporate it into my practice. I hope many future patients will benefit from this new technique.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

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When it comes to Mercury Removal….

overprep

Found this on The Internets and thought it’d be appropriate to share some dental humor. (I do not claim ownership of the photo.) But here’s your friendly holistic dentist PSA: take mercury seriously!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

Neural Therapy

Any of my readers out there know about neural therapy? It is something I have been looking to add as a service offered to my patients. This method first began in Germany; however, most of the literature has not been translated into English, and not much interest or effort has been put into its research in America. Thus it is not commonly found in the US, though Europe and South America recognize it as effective treatment.

Neural therapy is an alternative method of treating chronic pain caused by an upset autonomic nervous system. Specific anesthetics are injected into the body — in my case, it’s a cocktail of anesthetic and ozone, but more about that later — on a repeated basis until pain is relieved and the body is allowed to start healing. I’ll talk more about how that works too.

The treatment is very precise and individualized. A comprehensive medical background check must be taken before therapy begins, for each patient’s specific history and current pain problem will determine where the injection sites must be.

Neural therapy centralizes on the electrical currents running through our bodies and is thus a unique approach to pain management. And it is not even limited to pain. Neural therapy may correct other disturbances throughout the body as well, disturbances that may not have been identified as issues running back to the nervous system. It may be very good news for patients who are told it’s all in their heads.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

What is Neural Therapy?

So far, neural therapy has been a great success with my patients. One had been suffering pain from past car accident trauma. The lingering pain lasted for months and months with no respite from other treatments and therapy, but a brief period of neural therapy cleared up the pain completely. Another was suffering severe hormone imbalance causing amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea — not your typical injury-related pain, but neural therapy cleared that up for her too.

Obviously, neural therapy serves great purposes in dentistry and dental surgery. But why stop there when there are so many other things it could help? And how does one treatment cover such a broad scope of issues?

I introduced neural therapy in my previous post as an alternative method of treating chronic pain, but it is not limited strictly to pain. Neural therapy targets local disturbances caused by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). These disturbances — called interference fields — are caused by electric signals at certain sites sending the wrong messages to the ANS, thereby causing discomfort or dysfunction.

Interference fields in one area can disrupt an entirely different area of the body. This is why some problems are impossible for your conventional practitioner to diagnose. We’re dealing with a complex network of electricity, and the body functions as one whole unit. If one system is “off,” another will most likely be affected. This is why a thorough, comprehensive medical history of each individual patient is crucial before beginning neural therapy. A neural therapist must know the ANS pathways in order to provide effective treatment.

How is this beautifully simple treatment carried out? And how can neural therapy help you specifically? We’ll find out in the next posts!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Neural Therapy Injections

Neural therapy is administered via injections at specific sites. These sites are not the same for every person, however. A thorough evaluation of your medical history will help me determine where the injections are needed. Neural therapists are specially trained this way. We must be familiar with the specific autonomic nervous system (ANS) pathways where trouble in one area may link to another area.

Procaine, often generically referred to as novocaine, is a common local anesthetic used in dentistry. It is also the primary ingredient in neural therapy injections, which is convenient for me. Procaine has a special talent for this kind of treatment because, injected intravenously, it clears up interference fields and miscommunications, and it restores balance in the ANS, which usually clears up pain or other irregularities.

Depending on the problem, I may prepare a cocktail of both procaine and ozone for an extra-powerful boost of oxygen. A simple lack of oxygen causes and contributes to all kinds of issues in the human body. The causes behind this range from simple to complex, but it is a common factor in every single person with a health complaint or chronic disease. Adding ozone (read: pure oxygen) to the injection addresses the potential lack of oxygen at the site and stimulates healing. I might even bring the laser into the picture, which will address a host of other factors contributing to the problem.

For a patient undergoing neural therapy, treatment may be complete within a single visit, but sometimes it requires repetition. It’s different for every person. Because it is very safe, simple, and minimally invasive, making the decision to try it is easy for most patients.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Is Neural Therapy Right For You?

How do you find out if neural therapy is something you should try? Well, do you have chronic pain? joint pain? injury? inflammation? hormone irregularities? digestive problems? I wouldn’t say that neural therapy is the 100% be-all and end-all to every single human disease. But I believe it can help nearly any problem at least partially, preferably in conjunction with other whole-body therapies. Neural therapy is wonderful for those who cannot get a clear diagnosis or get satisfactory relief with medication.

If you’ve been struggling through doctors and doctors with no answers; if you are looking for a long-term, medication-free solution; if you’ve been given a serious diagnosis and want to start healing with the least invasive options; or if you are simply at your wit’s end, give us a call for a consultation. If your needs reach beyond what my office can comfortably give our patients, I can point you to Dr. Hirani, a fabulous holistic doctor nearby who can cover a broader scope of non-dental health issues.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles