When I questioned my new patient about the number of times she brushed her teeth everyday. The patient replied “Maybe three to four times a day depending on how often I eat.” “I really get in there and scrub my teeth until everything feels nice and smooth.” I started to cringe as I knew my patient was going to present with generalized areas of recession. I immediately brought out my intraoral camera and set it up to be ready to take pictures of the recession she was sure to have.
We’ve all been there educating our patient’s on using the proper brushing technique. Demonstrating and showing patient areas of abrasion or areas of aggressive brushing from using a firm or medium toothbrush. I’ve even had patient’s demonstrate the bass method of brushing after showing the patient how to brush and the patient seems to continue brushing aggressively. I am aware that it takes 21 days for the patient to create a new habit in order to replace the old habit. I believe that I should help the transition for brushing softly by introducing electric toothbrushes in my practice. Contrary to belief, when the patient returned to the office for their recall appointment in six months; the patient’s recession became worse. The great thing about my office is that we believe in intraoral pictures so that the patient is able to see what we see instead of just looking in the mirror at the areas of gingival recession. I find that documenting everything both written and with pictures will help the patient visually understand the severity of toothbrush abrasion. I believe that it is because of the intraoral pictures the patient is more susceptible to accept the proposed treatment plan of the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) with the pinhole surgical technique.
What is PRP?
What does our office do to help patient’s that have localized areas of recession? Our office has started performing a procedure called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) with the pinhole surgical technique. The results are amazing! What is the PRP procedure? The dentist will take blood from the patient’s arm and place the vile in a centrifuge. The centrifuge will spin the blood it normally takes 15-30 minutes for the blood to divide into two parts which are the plasma and erythrocytes. The dentist will then start with the pinhole surgical technique by making a small incision in the gingival tissue. Once the incision has been made the dentist will begin to loosen the gingival tissue so that it can be guided over the localized area of recession. After this is completed the dentist will take the plasma part of the blood and place it in the localized area of recession by way of the pinhole incision. The PRP will aide in the healing process and help regenerate new tissue being formed. PRP is great as it allows the patient to heal faster; and the pin hole surgical procedure allows the patient not to have sutures ands minimally invasive. This treatment procedure seems to be better for the patient as this allows the patient to not have to need a donor site and heal in a shorter time.
This treatment is an awesome service we’ve added to our patient and have been able to see the difference with pictures! It is a benefit for the patient to take before and after pictures of the PRP with the pinhole surgical technique to see the before of the localized recession and the after picture treatment of the PRP with the pinhole surgical technique. Our patient’s actually look forward to their recall appointments to see their progress with brushing and to have peace of mind knowing that they won’t have sensitivity from the localized areas of recession. It’s a great feeling to both me as a dental hygiene clinician and for the patient!